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T. E. PAGE, LiTT.D. 
E. CAPPS, PH.D., LL.D. W. H. D. ROUSE, litt.d. 







^ youncei 







V. ) 

First Printed 1915. 
Reprinted 1923. 
Reprinted 1927. 
Reprinted 1931. 

Printed in Great Britain. 


Melmoth's translation of Pliny's Letters, published 
in 1746, not only delighted contemporary critics — 
amongst whom Warton pronounced it a better work 
than the original — but deservedly ranks as a minor 
English classic. Apart from its literary excellence, 
it has the supreme merit of reflecting the spirit of 
the original, and that to a degree now unattainable. 
For it was produced when the lost ai-t of letter- 
writing was in its heyday, and to compose just such 
letters as Pliny's the universal accomplishment of 
well-bred persons. His high-flown compliments, his 
neatly-turned platitudes, his nice blending of sense 
and sensibility, were stock ingredients of eighteenth 
century correspondence ; and Melmoth — himself 
author of a vastly admired series of imaginary 
letters — had the ideal style for translating him at 
his fingers' ends. No modern rendering can i-e- 
capture the ease and felicity of Melmoth's; for 
they came of his living in a world so like Pliny's 
own that he was perfectly at home with his author's 
mode of thought. 


On the other hand, Melmoth carried too far the 
principle that the letter killeth but the spirit giveth 
life. Judged even by the easy canons of his time 
in regard to translation, his work is extraordinarily 
loose and inaccurate ; a good deal of it is simply 
paraphrase, and in many places the sense is fla- 
grantly wrong. Thorough revision was necessary if 
it was to be included in the Loeb Classical Library ; 
it was further needful to compress it considerably 
before it could be placed side by side with the 
text, as Melmoth's fondness for amplifying often 
makes the English twice as long as the Latin. To 
put new cloth to an old garment is always a 
hazardous undertaking, and the best I can hope is 
that my patches, though extensive, are sufficiently 
in harmony with the original fabric to escape 

The text of the present edition is based upon 
that published by the Bipons Press ^ in 1789, which 

* The celebrated Bipons editions of the classics were issued 
by three masters of the Gymnasium at Zweibriicken in the 
Rhenish Palatinate from 1779 to 1807, when after many 
vicissitudes in the revolutionary wars their Press was finally 
closed. The editor of its last production, an edition of 
Quinlus Sjiiyrjiaeus (ISOl), says in his preface, " Who could 
occupy himself with a Greek poet at a time when all our 
minds are being stirred by mighty events and political 
changes? The work of the Bipons Press . . . has been 
interrupted by War." 



seems approximately the same as Melmoth's ; it has 
been revised throughout with the help of the fol- 
lowing modern editions: Keil, 1853 and 1873; 
C. F. W. Mueller (Teubner), 1903"; Merrill (Selec- 
tions), 1903; Kukula (Teubner), 19^8; and for 
Book X., Hardy, 1889. Textual criticism, which 
in Pliny's case is highly difficult and uncertain, 
does not come within the scope of this edition ; 1 
have merely given some of the more important 
variant readings, citing the source of each. For 
the explanatory notes I am largely indebted to 
Merrill and Hardy, and have also consulted Church 
and Brodribb's "Selections" (1880). 










BOOK IV 271 

BOOK V 359 

BOOK VI 441 


Pliny's Life 

Pi.iNY THE Younger — commonly so called in dis- 
tinction from his maternal uncle, the author of the 
Natural History — was born at Novum Comum (Como) 
in 61 or 62 a.d. Both his father's family, the Caecilii, 
and his mother's, the Plinii, belonged to the pro- 
vincial nobility ; both were wealthy and of good 
repute- Losing his father in childhood, Pliny was 
left to the guardianship of the celebrated Verginius 
Rufus ; he received an elaborate education, com- 
pleted at Rome, where he studied rhetoric under 
Quintilian, and doubtless supervised by his learned 
uncle. On the latter's death in 79 a.d. he left his 
nephew his sole heir, adopting him by will ; Pliny, 
according to custom, took his adoptive father's name, 
and was thenceforth known as C. Plinius Caecilius 
Secundus.^ In the same year, at the age of eighteen, 

* The elder Pliny's name was C. Plinius Secundus. The 
nephew's original name was P. Caecilius Secundus ; Publius 
being praenomen, Caecilius (jenlUicium (name of his gens), 
Secundus cognomen. His cognomen, being identical with his 
uncle's, remained unchanged ; and he kept his original gen- 
tilicium in addition to that of his uncle (Plinius), whereas by 
older usage he would have added it as a second cognomen in 
the form Caecilianua. 



he made his first appearance at the bar ; he became 
one of the most eminent pleaders of his day, and 
passed through the regular stages of an official 
career up to the consulship, to which he was nom- 
inated by Trajan in 100 a.d. The successful tenor 
of his public life remained unbroken throughout 
Domitian's reign of terror ; and though he after- 
wards believed himself to have been in imminent 
danger from that Emperor, as the friend of his 
victims Helvidius, Rusticus, and Senecio, there is 
evidence that he enjoyed, and none that he ever 
forfeited, his favour.^ From what we know of Pliny's 
character, as revealed in his Letters, we may infer 
that he played a prudent, though not dishonourable, 
part in those troublous times ; that he concealed his 
sympathy with the objects of Domitian's persecution 
so long as to avow it was simply to share their fate ; 
and that when Domitian's death and Nerva's acces- 
sion (96 A.D.) had "restored liberty," he indulged 
a harmless vanity by posing as one who had narrowly 
escaped martyrdom under the late tyrant. On the 
other hand, though Pliny was no hero, we need not 
conclude him to have been a coward ; if he avoided 
offending Domitian, Agricola himself did the same; 
and if he saved his life by discretion, he would 

^ He became quaestor 89 a.d. as Domitian's personal 
nominee; praetor 93 a.d., by his special grace, without 
waiting the usual year after holding the tribunate ; and was 
by him appointed prefect of the military treasury, 94 or 
95 A.D. 



assuredly have lost it rather than stoop to actual 

Pliny's worth and talent for affairs were recognized 
both by Nerva and his successor, Trajan. The former, 
at the close of his short reign, made him prefect of 
the Treasury of Saturn — apparently the only in- 
stance of this important post being given to a man 
who had held the prefecture of the Military Treasury. 
From Trajan he received the consulship (100 a.d.) 
and, some three years later, the coveted office of 
augur ; these were virtual sinecures, but about 
105 A.D. he was given the "curatorship of the bed 
and banks of the Tiber and of the city sewers " — 
a post no less laborious than honourable, and de- 
manding much administrative ability. This was the 
last public office held by Pliny at Rome ; a still 
higher one awaited him in a distant province, from 
which he was not destined to return. 

The province of Bithynia had been placed by 
Augustus among the "senatorial" provinces, i.e. 
those administered by the Senate through pro- 
consuls chosen by lot from the ranks of that body. 
But whether owing to local conditions or proconsular 
mismanagement, this administi'ation had been a 
failure in Bithynia ; political disturbances were rife, 
and the finances of its cities disorganized. , Trajan 
resolved to take the province under his own control 
for a time, and he sent Pliny thither as his legate, 
with full powers to reform abuses and re-organize 


the finances of the cities. It was probably in 1 11 a.d. 
that Pliny went upon this mission. How he executed 
it we learn in detail from his correspondence with 
Trajan, which gives us an interesting picture of 
Roman provincial administration at its best. Pliny's 
appointment seems to have lasted about two years, 
and to have been terminated by his death ; but this 
remains matter of inference. For with his last 
letter to Trajan from Bithynia, in which he speaks 
of having sent his wife home to Italy, we lose all 
trace of him ; the great inscription erected to his 
memory at Comum shows that he held no further 
office, and that he died before 115 a.d.,^ but the rest 
is silence. 

Pliny was thrice married, but left no children. 
Nothing is known of his first wife"; his second, 
the daughter of Pompeia Celerina, died about 
97 A.D. ; some j'ears later he married Calpurnia, 
granddaughter of his fellow-townsman Calpurnius 
Fabatus. From his letters to her, and to her 
relatives, we see that Pliny was a devoted husband, 
and his young wife a pattern of the domestic 

^ This is safely inferred from the fact that Trajan is not 
given the official title of " Parthicus," which he assumed in 
that year. 

' It appears from i. 18 that he married her when "still a 
youth" and just entering practice at the bar. 



The Letters 

Excepting the tenth and last Book, containing his 
official correspondence with Trajan, Pliny's Letters 
were not only published by himself but composed 
with an eye to publication. Hence the artificiality 
and lack of the vivid personal touch which at once 
strike us when we compare them with those of 
Cicero, whom he wished to emulate in letter-writing 
as in oratory. The difference is not merely the 
inevitable one between a man of genius writing in 
most stirring times and a man of mediocre talents 
writing in rather dull ones ; it is far more the 
difference between a " human document " and a 
literary composition. In other words, Cicero's are 
real letters, in which he " unlocked his heart '' to 
his friends and discussed all the news of the day ; 
Pliny's are graceful prose exercises on various 
subjects and occasions. Incidentally, however, they 
give us much interesting detail respecting Roman 
life and manners in his time ; valuable notices of 
contemporaries such as Martial and Silius Italicus; 
and an undesigned revelation of his own character, 
which, in spite of priggishness, vanity, and want 
of humour, has not only respectable but amiable 

The chronology of the first nine Books, none of 
these letters being dated, has been much disputed. 
It seems probable on the whole that Pliny published 



them in three groups (I.-II., III.-VI., VII. -IX.), 

issuing the first group in 97 or 98 a.d., and the last 
in 108 or 109. The tenth Book must have been 
published after his death, by some person unknown. 

Sources of the Text 

For the first nine Books, we have three distinct 
sources, viz. (a) MSS. containing Books I.-V., of which 
the best are R (Florentinus Ashburnhamensis R. 98 
olim Riccardianus), tenth century, F (Laurentianus 
S. Marci 284), tenth-eleventh century; (6) MSS. con- 
taining Books I. -VII. and IX., all of the fifteenth cen- 
tury, of which D (Dresdensis D. 166) is representative; 
(c) MSS. containing nine books, of which the best is 
M (Laurentianus 47. 36). V (Vaticanus 3864) is 
closely akin to M, but contains only Books I. -IV. 
The text of Book X. depends on a lost MS. which 
contained also the first nine Books. While this was 
still extant at Paris, copies of it by different hands 
were used by Avantius of Verona for his edition 
of 1502, and by Aldus in 1508. But while the 
Aldine edition gave the tenth Book entire, the 
fii'st forty Letters are for some reason missing in 
that of Avantius. A MS. of these Letters has been 
discovered by Hardy in the Bodleian Library, which 
appears to be the actual copy from which Aldus 





C. Plinius Secundus Septicio Suo S. 
Frequenter hortatus es, ut epistulas^ si quas paulo 
accuratius scripsissem, colligcrem publicaremque. 
Collegi non servato temporis ordine (neque enim 
historian! componebam), sed ut quaeque in manus 
venerat. Superest, ut nee te consilii^ nee me paeniteat 
obsequii. Ita enim fiet, ut eas, quae adhuc neglectae 
iacent, requiram^ et, si quas addideio, non supprimam. 


C. Pi.rNius Arriano Suo S. 

Quia tardiorem adventum tuura prospicio, librum, 

quem prioribus epistulis promiseram, exhibeo. Hunc 

rogo ex consuetudine tua et legas et emendes, eo 




To Septicius 

You have frequently pressed me to make a select 
collection of my Letters (if there be any which 
show some literary finish) and give them to the 
public. I have accordingly done so ; not indeed in 
their proper order of time, for I was not compiling a 
history ; but just as they presented themselves to my 
hands. And now what remains but to wish that 
neither you may have occasion to repent of your 
advice, nor I of my compliance ? if so, I may })robably 
inquire after the rest, which at present lie neglected, 
and not withhold those I shall hereafter write. 


To Arrianus 

I FORESEE your journey hither is likely to be delayed, 
and therefore produce a copy of the speech which 1 
promised in my former letter, begging you would, as 
usual, revise and correct it. I desire this the more 

B 2 


maffis, quod niliil ante peraeqiie eodem ^tJXw scrip- 
sisse videor. Temptavi enim imitari Demosthenein 
semper tuum, Calvum nuper meum, dumtaxat figuris 
orationis ; nam vim tantorum virorum ' pauci, quos 
aequus amavit,' adsequi possunt. Nee materia ipsa 
huic (vereor, ne iinprobe dicani) aemulationi repiig- 
navit ; erat enim prope iota in contentione dicendi ; 
quod me longae desidiae indormientem excitavit, si 
modo is sum ego, qui excitari possim. Non tamen 
omnino Marci nostri XrjKvOovi fugimus, quotiens paulu- 
lum itinere decedere non intempestivis amoenitatibus 
admonebamur. Acres enim esse, non tristes, vole- 
bamus. Nee est, quod putes me sub hae exceptione 
veniam postulare. Immo, quo magis intendam limam 
tuam, confitebor et ipsum me et eontubernales ab 
editione non abhorrere, si modo tu fortasse errori 
nostro album calculum adieceris. Est enim plane 
aliquid edendum, atque utinam hoc potissimum, quod 
paratum est ! (audis desidiae votum ?) edendum autem 
ex pluribus causis, maxime quod libelli, quos emi- 
simus, dicuntur in manibus esse, quamvis iam gratiam 
novitatis exuerint ; nisi tamen auribus nostris biblio- 
polae blandiuntur. Sed sane blandiantur, dum per 
hoc mendacium nobis studia nostra commendent. 

» ^€71. vi. 129. 

* \r}Kv0oi, lit. " toilet-bottles," in which ladies kept their 
cosmetics. The derived meaning, "tropes," "flowers of 
rhetoric," occurs in a letter of Cicero's {Alt. i. 14.3), from 
which Pliny may have quoted the word. 

BOOK I. ii 

earnestly, as I was never, I think, animated with the 
same warmth of zeal in any of my former compositions ; 
for I have endeavoured to imitate your old favourite 
Demosthenes, and Calvus who is lately become mine. 
When I say so, I mean only with respect to their 
manner ; for to catch their sublime spii-it, is given 
alone to "the choice selected few, whom fav'ring Jove 
befriends."* My subject indeed seemed naturally to 
lead me to this (may I venture to call it.'') emulation, 
since it was, in general, of such a nature as demanded 
controversial eloquence, even to a degree sufficient 
to have awakened (if in truth it is possible to awake) 
that indolence in which I have long reposed. I have 
not however neglected the softer graces ^ of my 
favourite Tully, wherever I could with propriety step 
out of my direct road to enjoy a more flowery path : 
for it was vigour, not austerity, at which I aimed. I 
would not have you imagine that I am bespeaking 
your indulgence, by filing this counter-plea : on the 
contrary, to induce you to exercise the utmost 
severity of your criticism, I will confess, that neither 
my famiUars nor myself are averse to the publication 
of this piece if you should give your vote in favour 
of what may be pure error on my part. The truth is, 
as I must publish something, I wish (do you catch 
the true sluggard's petition?) it might be this 
performance rather than any other, merely because 
it is already finished. At all events, however, some- 
thing I must publish, and for many reasons ; chiefly, 
because the speeches Avhich I have already sent into 
the world, though they have long since lost all their 
recommendation from novelty, are still, I am told, in 
request ; if, after all, the Booksellers do not flatter 
me. And let 'em, since by that deception I am 
encouraged to pursue my studies. Farewell. 



C. Plinius Caninio Rufo Suo S. 

Quid agit Comum, tuae meaeque deliciae ? quid 
siiburbanum amoenissimum ? quid ilia porticus verna 
semper ? quid i^latanon opacissimus ? quid euripus 
viridis et gemmeus? quid subiectus et serviens lacus ? 
quid ilia mollis et tamen solida gestatio ? quid balin- 
eum illud, quod plurimus sol implet et circumit ? quid 
triclinia ilia popularia, ilia paucorum ? quid cubicula 
diurna, noctuma ? Possidentne te, et per vices parti- 
untur ? an^ ut solebas, intentione rei familiaris 
obeundae crebris excursionibus avocaris ? Si te possi- 
R dent, felix beatusque es ; si minus, unus ex multis. 
Quin tu (tempus est enim) humiles et sordidas curas 
aliis mandas et ipse te in alto isto pinguique secessu 
studiis adseris ? Hoc sit negotium tuum, hoc otium, 
hie labor, haec quies, in his vigilia, in his etiam 
somnus reponatur. Effinge aliquid et excude, quod 
sit perpetuo tuum. Nam reliqua rerum tuarum post 
te alium atque alium dominum sortientur : hoc num- 
quam tuum desinet esse, si semel coeperit. Scio, 
quem animum, quod horter ingenium ; tu modo 
enitere, ut tibi ipse sis tanti, quanti videberis aliis, 
si tibi fueris. Vale. 

" Pliny's native town, the modern Como, on the shore of 
the Lacus Larius (now Lago di Como). 


BOOK I. iii 


To Caninius Rufus 

How stands Comum,'* that favourite scene of yours 
and mine ? What becomes of the pleasant Villa, the 
ever vernal Portico, the shady Planetree-grove, the 
crystal Canal so agreeably winding along its flowery 
banks, together with the charming Lake below, that 
serves at once the purposes of use and beauty ? 
What have you to tell me of the firm yet springy 
Allee, the Bath exposed on all sides to full sun- 
shine, the public Saloon, the private Dining room, 
and all the elegant apartments for repose both at 
noon and night? Do these enjoy my friend, and 
divide his time with pleasing vicissitude ? Or does 
the attentive management of your property, as 
usual, call you frequently out from this agreeable 
retreat ? if the scene of your enjoyments lies wholly 
there, you are thrice happy : if not, you are levelled 
with the common order of mankind. ' But leave, 
my friend (for it is high time), the low and sordid 
pursuits of life to others, and in this safe and 
snug retreat, emancipate yourself for your studies. 
Let these employ your idle as well as busy 
hours ; let them be at once your toil and your 
amusement, the subjects of your waking and even 
sleeping thoughts : shape and fashion something that 
shall be really and for ever your own. All your 
other possessions will pass on from one master to 
another : this alone, when once it is yours, will for 
ever be so. As well I know the temper and genius 
of him whom I am exhorting, I bid you strive to 
do justice to your talents ; no more is needed, for 
the world to do the same. Farewell. 




C. Plinius Pompeiae Celerinae Socrui S. 
Quantum copiarum in Ocriculano, in Narniensi, 
in CarsulanOj in Perusino tuo ! in Namiensi vero etiam 
balineum, ex epistulis meis (nam iam tuis opus non 
est) una ilia brevis et vetus sufficit. Non niehercule 
tam mea sunt, quae mea sunt, quam quae tua ; hoc 
tamen differunt, quod sollicitius et intentius tui me 
quam mei excipiunt. Idem fortasse eveniet tibi, si 
quando in nostra deverteris. Quod velira facias, 
primum ut perinde nostris i-ebus ac nos tuis perfruaris, 
deinde ut mei expergiscantur aliquando, qui me secure 
ac prope negligenter exspectant. Nam mitium dom- 
inorum apud servos ipsa consuetudine metus exolescit ; 
novitatibus excitantur probarique dominis per alios 
magis quam per ipsos laborant. Vale. 

C. Plinius Voconio Romano Suo S. 
ViDisTiNE quemquam Marco Regulo timidiorem, 
humiliorem post Domitiani mortem ? sub quo non 

* Mother of Pliny's wife. 

BOOK I. iv.-v 


You might perceive by my last short letter of 
some time ago, that I had no occasion of yours to 
inform me of the various conveniences you enjoy at 
vour several villas. The elegant accommodations 
which are to be found at Narnia, Ocriculum, Carsola, 
Perusiaj particularly the pi-etty bath at Narnia, I am 
extremely well acquainted with. For the truth is, 
I am more the master in your houses than I am in 
my own, and I know of no other difference betw-een 
them, than that I am more carefully attended in 
the former than the latter. You may, perhaps, have 
occasion to make the same observation in your turn, 
whenever you shall give me your company here ; 
which I wish for, not only that you may partake of 
mine with the same ease and freedom that I doyoiirs, 
but to awaken the industry of my domestics, who 
are grown something careless in their attendance 
upon me. A long course of mild treatment is apt to 
wear out the impressions of awe in servants ; 
whereas new faces quicken their diligence, as they 
are generally more inclined to please their master by 
attention to his guests, than to himself. Farewell. 



Did you ever see a more abject and mean-spirited 
creature than Regulus has appeared since the death 
of Domitian, during whose reign his conduct was no 


minora flagitia commiserat quam sub Nerone, sed 
tectiora. Coepit vereri, ne sibi irascerer ; nee falle- 
batur ; irascebar. Rustici Aruleni periculum foverat, 
exsultaverat morte, adeo ut librum recitaret publi- 
earetque, in quo Rusticum insectatur atque etiam 
' Stoieorum simiam ' appellat ; adicit * Vitellianae 
cicatrice stigmosum.' Agnoscis eloquentiam Regiili. 
Lacerat Herennium Senecionem tarn intemperanter 
quidem, ut dixerit ei Mettius Carus ' Quid tibi cum 
meis mortuis ? numquid ego aut Crasso aut Camerino 
molestus sum ? ' quos ille sub Nerone accusaverat. 
Haec me Regulus dolenter tulisse credebat ideoque 
etiam cum recitaret librum, non adhibuerat. Prae- 
terea reminiscebatur, quam capitaliter ipsum me apud 
centumviros lacessisset. Aderam Areionillae, Timonis 
uxori, rogatu Aruleni Rustici ; Regulus contra. Nite- 
bamur nos in parte causae sententia Metti Modesti, 
optimi viri. Is tunc in exsilio erat, a Domitiano 
relegatus. Ecce tibi Regulus : ' Quaero/ inquit, 
' Secunde, quid de Modesto sentias.' Vides, quod 
periculum, si respondissem ' bene/ quod flagitium, 
si 'male.' Non possum dicere aliud tunc mihi quam 
deos adfuisse. ' Respondebo/ inquam, ' quid sentiam. 

" i.e. of the wound inflicted by one of Vespasian's soldiers, 
who, it is implied, treated Rusticus as a partisan of Vitellius. 
See Biogr. Index. 

* The Centum viral court, originally composed of three citi- 
zens from each of the thirty-five tribes, dealt with civil cases 
relating to ownership, kinship, and inlieritance. By Pliny's 
time it had been enlarged to 180 members, divided into four 
panels which sat separately for common cases, but as a 
single court for specially important ones (i. 18, vi. 33). It 
sat in the Basilica Julia (ii. 14). 

BOOK I. y 

less infamous, though more concealed than under 
Nero's ? He has lately entertained some apprehen- 
sions of my resentment: they were justly founded ; 
resentment was what I felt. He not only promoted 
the prosecution against Rusticus Arulenus, but 
exulted in his death ; insomuch that he actually 
recited and published a libel upon his memory, 
wherein he styles him, "the Stoics' ape": and further, 
"one branded with the scar« that stamped him a 
Vitelliaji." There you recognize his style of ora- 
tory. He falls so furiously in this piece, upon the 
character of Herennius Senecio, that Mettius Carus 
said to him one day : " Pray what business have 
you with my dead men? Did I ever interfere 
in the affair of Crassus, or Camerinus ? " These, you 
know, were victims to Regulus in Nero's time. 
For these reasons he imagines I am highly exas- 
perated, and therefore even when he recited the 
piece, did not give me an invitation. Besides he has 
not forgot, it seems, the dangerous assault he once 
made upon me, when he and I were pleading before 
the Centumviri.^ Rusticus had desired me to be 
counsel for Arionilla, Timon's wife : Regulus was 
engaged against her. In the course of my defence 
I strongly insisted upon a niling which had been 
formerly given by the worthy Modestus, at that time 
banished by Domitian. Now you shall see Regulus 
in his true colours : " Pray," says he, " what are 
your sentiments of Modestus?" You will easily 
judge how extremely hazardous it would have been 
to have answered in his favour, and how infamous if 
I had done otherwise. But some guardian power, I 
cannot but affirm, assisted me in this emergency. 
" I would tell you my sentiments," said I, " if that 



si de hoc centumviri iudicaturi sunt.' Rursus ille : 
'Quaero, quid de Modesto sentias.' Iterum egOj 
' Solebant testes in reos, non in damnatos interrogari.' 
Tertio ille : ' Non iam, quid de Modesto, sed quid de 
pietate Modesti sentias.' ' Quaeris/ inquam, 'quid 
sentiam ; at ego ne interrogare quidem fas puto 
de quo pronuntiatum est.' Conticuit ; me laus 
et gi-atulatio secuta est, quod nee famam meam 
aliquo response utili fortasse, inhonesto tamen, 
laeseram nee me laqueis tam insidiosae inter- 
rogationis involveram. Nunc ergo conscientia exter- 
ritus apprehendit Caecilium Celerem, mox Fabium 
lustum, rogat, ut me sibi reconcilient, nee contentus 
pervenit ad Spurinnam ; huic suppliciter (ut est, cum 
timet, abiectissimus) ' Rogo,' inquit, 'mane videas 
Plinium domi : sed plane mane (neque enini diutius 
ferre sollicitudinem possum), et quoquo modo efficias, 
ne mihi irascatur.' Evigilaveram. Nuntius a Spurin- 
na, ' Venio ad te.' ' Immo ego ad te.' Coimus 
in porticum Liviae, cum alter ad alterum tenderemus. 
Exponit Reguli mandata ; addit preces suas, ut dece- 

" To say that Modestus was loyal, might have beeu con- 
strued as treason to Domitian, who had condemned liim. 
Pliny turns the tables upon Regulus by suggesting that even 
to put a question on a chose jug6e was disloyal to the 
Emperor. (Merrill.) 


were a matter for the consideration of the Cen- 
tumviri." Still he repeated his Question. I replied, 
" It had been customary to examine witnesses to the 
character of accused but not of condemned persons." 
He pressed me a third time : " I do not inquire," 
said he, " what you think of Modestus in general, I 
only ask your opinion of his Loyalty." Since you 
will have my sentiments then, I returned, " I think 
it illegal even to ask a question concerning a person 
who stands convicted." This silenced him ; and I 
was universally applauded and congratulated, that, 
without wounding my character by an expedient, 
perhaps, though disingenuous answer, I had avoided 
to entangle myself in so insidious a snare." So now, 
alarmed by the consciousness of this offence, Regulus 
seizes first upon Caecilius Celer, then on Fabius 
Justus, and begs they would use their interest to 
bring about a reconciliation between us. And lest 
this should not be sufficient, he has applied also to 
Spurinna for the same purpose ; to whom he came in 
the humblest manner (for he is the most abject crea- 
ture living, where he has any thing to fear) and says 
he — " I beg you will call upon Pliny to-morrow morn- 
ing, and endeavour by any means to soften his 
resentment, but be sure to go early in the morning, 
for I can no longer support myself under this anxiety 
of mind." I had just awakened the following day 
when there came a message from Spurinna, infonning 
me that he would wait upon me. I sent word back, 
I would call upon him ; however, both of us setting 
out to pay this visit, we met under Livia's Portico. 
He acquainted me with the commission he had 
received from Regulus, and interceded for him, as 
became so worthy a man in behalf of one of a very 



bat optimum virum pro dissimillimo, parce. Cui ego, 
'Dispicies ipse, quid renuntiandum Regulo putes. Te 
decipia me non oportet. Exspecto Mauricum/ (non- 
dum enim ab exsilio venerat) ' ideo nihil alterutram in 
partem respondere tibi possum facturus, quidquid ille 
decreverit ; ilium enim esse huius consilii ducem, me 
comitem decet.' Paucos post dies ipse me Regulus 
convenit in praetoris officio ; illuc persecutus secretum 
petit ; ait timere se, ne animo meo penitus haereret, 
quod in centumvirali iudicio aliquando dixisset, cum 
vesponderet mihi et Satrio Rufo : * Satrius Rufus, cui 
non est cum Cicerone aemulatio, et qui contentus est 
eloquentia saeculi nostri.' Respondi nunc me intel- 
ligere maligne dictum, quia ipse confiteretur ; ceterum 
potuisse honorificum existimari. ' Est enim,' inquam, 
'mihi cum Cicerone aemulatio, nee sum contentus 
eloquentia saeculi nostri. Nam stultissimum credo, ad 
imitandum non optima quaeque proponere. Sed tu, 
qui huius iudicii meministi, cur illius oblitus es, in quo 
me interrogasti, quid de Metti Modesti pietate sen- 
tirem ? ' Expalluit notabiliter, quamvis palleat semper, 
et haesitabundas : ' Interrogavi non ut tibi nocerem, 
sed ut Modesto.' Vide hominis crudelitatem, qui se 
non dissimulet exsuli nocere voluisse. Subiunxit 

" Brother to Arulenus Rusticus. 


different character, without greatly pressing the 
thing. I ought not, I told him, to conceal the true 
state of the case from him, and after I had informed 
him of that, I would leave it to himself to consider 
what answer was proper for me to return. " I cannot 
positively," said I, " determine any thing till Mauri- 
cus <» (who was then in exile) shall return, by whose 
sentiments I think ipyself obliged to be entirely 
guided in this affair." ^ A few days after Regulus met 
me at the installation of the Praetor ; following me 
at heel, he asks for a private conference, and says he 
was afraid I deeply resented an expression he had 
once made use of in his reply to me and Satrius Rufus, 
before the Centumviri, to this purpose : " Satrius 
Rufus, who does not affect to rival Tully, and contents 
himself with the eloquence of our age." I answered, 
that now indeed I perceived he spoke it with a sneer, 
since he owned he meant it so ; otherwise it might 
have passed for a compliment. "I am free to own," I 
said, " that I do endeavour to emulate Cicero, and am 
by no means contented with taking my example from 
modern eloquence ; for I look upon it as a very 
absurd thing not to copy the best models of every 
kind. But how happens it," continued I, "that you 
who remember so well what passed at this trial, 
should have forgot that other, when you pushed me 
so strongly concerning the loyalty of Modestus .'' " 
Pale as he always is, he turned still more remarkably 
so, and after a good deal of hesitation, he said, 
" It was not you whom I designed the question to 
injure, it was only Modestus." Observe now, I 
beseech you, the implacable spirit of this fellow, 
who makes no concealment of having designed to 
injure an exile. But the i-eason he subjoined is 



egrefriani causam. ' Scripsit/ inquit, ' in epistula 
quadain, quae apud Domitianum recitata est, " Regii- 
lus omnium bipedum nequissimus " ' ; quod quidem 
Modestus verissime scripserat. Hie fere nobis ser- 
monis terminus ; neque enim volui progredi longius, 
ut mihi omnia libera servarem, dum Mauricus venit, 
nee me praeterit, esse Regulum ^va-KaOaiptTov ; est 
enim locuples, factiosus, curatur a multis, timetur a 
pluribus, quod plerumque fortius amore est. Potest 
tamen fieri, ut haec concussa labantur ; nam gratia 
malorum tarn infida est quam ipsi. Verum, ut idem 
saepius dicam, exspecto Mauricum. Vir est gravis, 
prudens, multis experimentis eruditus, et qui futura 
possit ex praeteritis providere. Mihi et temptandi 
aliquid et quiescendi illo auctore ratio constabit. 
Haec tibi scripsi, quia aequum erat te pro amore 
mutuo non solum omnia mea facta dietaque, verum 
etiam consilia cognoscere. Vale. 


C. Plinius Cornelio Tacito Suo S. 

RiDEBis, et licet rideas. Ego ille, quem nosti, 
api'os tres et quidem pulcherrimos, cepi. 'Ipse?' in- 

■^.■^J L'} &^}^\\-H. }L.^\-^i 

BOOK I. v.-vi 

pleasant. " He had wrote," said he, " in a letter, 
which was read to Domitian, ' Regulus, the greatest 
scoundrel that walks on two legs.' " > And Modestus 
could have written nothing truer. IHere, or here- 
abouts, our conversation ended; I 'not wishing to 
continue it, and being desirous to reserve to myself 
the liberty of acting as I should see proper Avhen 
Mauricus returns. It is no easy matter, I well know, 
to overthrow Regulus ; he is rich, and at the head 
of a party ; there are many with whom he has credit, 
and more that are afraid of him ; a sentiment that 
is often more powerful than love. But after all, 
ties of this sort are not so strong, but they may 
be loosened ; for the popularity of a bad man is 
no more to be depended upon than he is himself. 
However (to repeat it again), I shall do nothing 
in this affair till Mauricus retm-ns. He is a man 
of solid worth and great sagacity, formed upon a 
long course of experience, and who, from his observa- 
tions on the past, well knows how to foresee the 
future. With him for adviser, I shall be able to 
present good and sufficient reason for either pursuing 
or dropping this affair. In the meanwhile, I thought 
I owed this account to the friendship that subsists 
between us, which gives you an undoubted right 
to be informed not only of all my sayings and doings, 
but all my designs. Farewell. 


To Cornelius Tacitus 

Certainly you will laugh (and laugh you may) 
when I tell you that your old acquaintance is turned 
sportsman, and has taken three noble boars. What ! 


VOL. I. C 


quis ? Ipse ; non tamen ut omnino ab inertia mea 
et quiete discederem. Ad retia sedebam ; erat in 
proximo non venabulum aut lancea, sed stilus et 
pugillares ; meditabar aliquid enotabamque, ut^ si 
manus vacuas, plenas tamen ceras reportarem. Non 
estj quod contemnas hoc studendi genus ; mirum 
est, ut animus agitatione motuque corporis excite- 
tur; iam undique silvae et solitudo ipsiimque illud 
silentium, quod venationi datur, magna cogitatio- 
nis incitamenta sunt. Proinde, cum venabere, lice- 
bit auctore me ut panarium et lagunculam sic 
etiam pugillares feras ; experieris non Dianam ma- 
gis montibus quam Minervam inerrare. Vale. 


C. PuNius OcTAvio RuFo Suo S. 

Vide, in quo me fastigio collocaris, cum mihi 
idem potestatis idemque regni dederis quod Ho- 
merus lovi Optimo Maximo : 

T<3 8' erepov fxiv eSwKe Trartjp, trepov 8' dvevcvcrev.^. 

Nam ego quoque simili nutu ac renutu respondere 

voto tuo possum. Etenim, sicut fas est mihi, prae- 

sei'tim te exigente, excusare Baeticis contra unum 

» IL xvi. 250. 

BOOK I. vi.-vii 

(methinks I hear you say with astonishment) Pliny ! — 
Even he. However, I indulged at the same time my 
beloved inactivity, and whilst I sat at my nets, you 
would have found me, not with spear and dart, but 
pen and tablets by my side. 1 mused and wrote, 
being resolved if I returned with my hands empty, 
at least to come home with my pocket-book full. 
Believe me, this manner of studying is not to be 
despised ; you cannot conceive how greatly exercise 
contributes to enliven the imagination. Besides the 
sylvan solitude with which one is surrounded, and 
the very silence which is observed on these occasions, 
strongly incline the mind to meditation. For the 
future therefore let me advise you, whenever you 
hunt, to take along with you your tablets, as well 
as your basket and bottle : for be assured you will 
find Minerva as fond of roaming the hills as Diana. 



See on what a dizzy eminence you have placed 
me ! You have even invested me with a sovereignty 
equal to that which Homer attributes to his mighty 
Jove : 

" From heav'n's imperial throne Jove heard his 
Part he admits, and scatters part in air." 

'Tis thus with a nod or a frown, I may grant or 
reject your petition as I see proper. To be serious : 
as I am at liberty, I think, to excuse myself to 
the Baetici, especially at your request, from being 

c 2 


hominem advocatioiiem, ita nee fidei nostrae nee 
coiistantiae, quam diligis, eonvenit adesse contra 
provineiam, quam tot officiis, tot laboribus, tot 
etlam periculis meis aliquando devinxeriin. Tene- 
bo ergo hoe temperameiitum, iit ex duubus, quo- 
rum alterutrum petis, eligam id potius, in quo non 
solum studio tuo, verum etiam iudicio satisfaeiam. 
Neque enim tantopere mihi eonsiderandum est, 
quid vir optimus in praesentia velis, quam quid 
semper sis probaturus. Me circa Idus Octobris 
spero Romae futurum eademque haec praesentem 
quoque tua meaque fide Gallo eonfirmaturum ; cui 
tamen iam nunc licet spondeas de aninio meo, 

H Koi KvavifjtTLV in 6<^pv(Ti vevcrc.^ 

Cur enim non usquequaque Homericis versibus 
agam tecum ? quatenus tu me tuis agere non pate- 
ris, quorum tanta cupiditate ardeo, ut videar mihi 
hac sola mercede posse corrumpi, ut vel contra 
Baeticos adsim. Paene praeterii, quod minima prae- 
tereundum fuit, accepisse me caryotas optimas, quae 
nunc cum ficis et boletis certandum habent. Vale. 

» //. i. 528. 


BOOK I. vii 

counsel for them against a single person ; so on 
the other hand, to oppose a whole province which 
I have long since attached to me by many good 
offices, and spared no pains to oblige even at the 
hazard of my own interest, would be acting in- 
consistently with my honour, and that uniformity 
of conduct which I know you admire. I shall steer 
therefore in this affair a middle course, and of the 
alternatives which you propose to me, choose that 
which will satisfy your judgement, as well as your in- 
clination. For I do not look upon myself as obliged 
to consider so much what you at present desire, 
as what a man of your worthy character will alwaj/s 
approve. 'I hope to be at Rome about the 15th of 
October, when I will personally pledge our united 
credit to Gallus in support of my present offer. In 
the mean^vhile you may assure him of my good 
disposition towards him. 

"The sire of men and gods, 
With gracious aspect mild, compliance nods." 

For why should 1 not continue to quote Homer's 
verses, since you will not put it in my power to 
quote any of yours ? which yet I so passionately 
wish for, that I question whether I could withstand 
such a bribe, even to plead against my old clients 
the good people of Baetica. — I had almost forgot 
to mention (what however is of too much importance 
to be omitted) that I have received the excellent 
dates you sent me. They are likely to prove very 
powei'ful rivals to ray favourite figs and morells'. 




Peropportune mihi redditae sunt litterae tuae, 
qiiibus flagitabas, ut tibi aliquid ex scriptis meis 
mitterem, cum ego id ipsum destinassem. Addidisti 
ergo calcaria sponte currenti pariterque et tibi 
veniam I'ecusandi laboris et niihi exigendi vere- 
cundiam sustulisti. Nam nee me timide uti decet eo, 
quod oblatum est, nee te gravari, quod depopo- 
scisti. Non est tamen, quod ab homine desidioso 
aliquid novi operis exspectes. Petiturus sum enim, 
ut rursus vaces sermoni, quern apud munieipes 
meos habui bibliothecam dedicaturus. Memini qui- 
dem te iam quaedam adnotasse, sed generaliter ; 
ideo nunc rogo, ut non tantum universitati eius 
attendaSj verum etiam particulas, qua soles lima, 
persequaris. Erit enim et post emendationem libe- 
rum nobis vel publicare vel continere. Quin immo 
fortasse banc ipsam cunctationem nostram in alter- 
utram sententiam emendationis ratio deducet, quae 
aut indignum editione, dum saepius retractat, inve- 
niet aut dignum, dum id ipsum experitur, efficiet. 

Quamquam huius cunctationis meae causae non tarn 
in scriptis quam in ipso materiae genere consistunt ; 
est enim paulo quasi gloriosius et elatius ; onerabit 
hoc modestiam nostram, etiamsi stilus ipse fuerit 



BOOK I. viii 


To PoMPEius Saturninus 

Nothing could be more seasonable than the letter 
which I received from you, wherein you desire me to 
communicate to you some of my compositions: I 
was at that very time designing to send you one. 
Thus you have set spurs to a willing horse ; and at 
once deprived yourself of excuse in refusing a task, 
and me'"o"f"S'cruple in requesting it. For 'twould 
ill become me to hesitate to make use of your offer ; 
nor must you take the consequence of it with re- 
luctance. However, you must not expect from a 
man of indolence any thing new. On the contrary I 
am going to entreat you again to devote your leisure 
to the speech 1 made to my counti-ymen, w^hen I de- 
dicated the public library which I founded for their 
use. You have already, I remember, obliged me 
with some general observations upon this piece : 
but I now beg of you, not only to take a view 
of it in the whole, but distinctly to criticise it, with 
your usual exactness, in all its parts. When you 
have corrected it, I shall still be at liberty either to 
publish or suppress it. The delay in the meantime 
will be attended with one of these advantages, that 
while we are deliberating whether it is fit for the public 
view, a frequent revisal will either make it so, or 
convince me that it is not. 

Though indeed the principal difficulty with me 
concerning the publication of this harangue, does not 
arise so much from the composition itself, as from the 
subject, which has something in it, I feai-, that will 
look like ostentation. For though the style be ever 



pressus demissusque, propterea quod cogimur cum 
de munificentia parentum nostrorum turn de nostra 
disputare. Anceps hie et lubricus locus est, etiam 
cum illi necessitas lenocinatur. Etenim, si alienae 
quoque laudes paruni acquis auribus accipi solent^ 
quam difficile est obtinere, ne molesta videatur 
oratio de se aut de suis disserentis ! nam cum ipsi 
honestati turn aliquanto magis gloriae eius praedi- 
cationique invidemus atque ea demum recte facta 
minus detorquemus et carpimuSj quae in obscuritate 
et silentio reponuntur. 

Qua ex causa saepe ipse mecum, nobisne tantum, 
quidquid est istud, composuisse, an et aliis de- 
beamus. Ut nobis, admonet illud, quod pleraque, 
quae sunt agendae rei necessaria, eadem peracta 
nee utilitatem parem nee gratiam retinent. Ac, 
ne longius exempla repetamus, quid utilius fuit 
quam munificentiae rationem etiam stilo prosequi ? 
Per hoc enim adsequebamur, primum ut honestis 
cogitationibus immoraremur, deinde ut pulchritu- 
dinem illarum longiore tractatu pervideremus, pos- 
tremo ut subitae largitionis comitem paenitentiam 
caveremus. Nascebatur ex his exercitatio quaedam 
contemnendae pecuniae. Nam, omnes cum homines 
ad custqdiam eius natura restrinxerit, nos contra 
multum ac diu pensitatus amoi liberalitatis com- 

BOOK I. viii 

so plain and unassuming, yet as the occasion neces- 
sarily led me to touch not only upon the munificence 
of my ancestors, but my own ; my modesty will be 
greatly embarrassed. A dangerous and slippery topic 
tliis, even when one is allured to it by necessity ! 
For if mankind are not very favourable to panegyric, 
even when given us by others, how difficult is it 
for a speaker not to seem tedious when he himself, 
or his family, is the theme of his discourse. Virtue, 
though stripped of all external advantages, is generally 
the object of envy, but particularly so, when glory 
is her attendant ; and the world is never so little 
disposed to wrest and pervert your honest actions, 
as when they lie unobserved and unapplauded. 

For these reasons I frequently ask myself, whether 
I should have composed this harangue, such as it is, 
merely for my own private use, or with a view also 
to the public ? The former plan is recommended 
by the consideration that what may be exceedingly 
useful and proper in the prosecution of any affair, 
may lose all its grace and fitness the moment the 
thing is completed. fFor instance, to take only the 
case before us, nothihg could be more to my purpose 
than to set down in black and white the motives of 
my intended bounty ; for by this means I accustomed 
my mind to generous sentiments; obtained a fuller 
view of their loveliness by prolonged reflection, and 
guarded lastly against tliat repentance which usually 
attends a hasty execution of liberalities not well 
considered. This method trained me, as it were, 
to despise money. For while mankind seem to be 
universally governed by an innate disposition to 
accumulate wealth, the cultivation of liberal in- 
clinations in my own breast taught me to free myself 



munibiis avaritiae vinculis eximebat, tantoque lauda- 
bilior munificentia nostra fore videbatur, quod ad 
illam non impetu quodam, sed consilio traheba- 
niur. Acccdebat liis causis, quod non ludos aut gla- 
diatores, sed annuos sumptus in alimenta ingenuo- 
rum pollicebamur. Oculorum porro et aurium vo- 
luptates adeo non egent commendatione, ut non 
lam inoitari debeant oratione quam reprimi ; ut 
vero aliquis libenter educationis taedium laborem- 
que suscipiat, non praemiis modo, verum etiam ex- 
(juisitis adhortationibus impetrandum est. Nam^ si 
medici salubres^ sed voluptate carentes cibos blan- 
dioribus adloquiis prosecuntur, quanto magis de- 
cuit publice consulentem utilissimum munus^ sed 
non perinde populare comitate orationis inducere ? 
praesertim cum enitendum haberemus, utj quod 
parentibus dabatur^ et orbis probaretur, honoremque 
paucorum ceteri patienter et exspectarent et mere- 

Sed, ut tunc coiimiunibus magis commodis quam 
privatae iactantiae studebamus, cum intentionem 
effectumque muneris nostri vellemus intellegi, ita 
nunc in ratione edendi veremur, ne forte non 

BOOK I. viii 

from the general bondage to avarice^ and I thought 
my munificence would appear the more meritorious, 
as it should proceed, not from a sudden start of 
temper, but from the dictates of cool and deliberate 
reflection. I considered, besides, the nature of my 
design ; I was not engaging myself to endow public 
o-ames or troupes of gladiators, but to defray the 
annual expense of maintenance for well-born youths. 
Furthermore, the pleasures of the eye and eai' are 
so far from needing recommendation, that oratory 
should be employed to curb, rather than to pro- 
mote them. But to prevail with anyone, to under- 
take with cheerfulness the disagreeable business 
of education, it is necessary to employ, not only 
rewards, but the most artful incitements. For if 
Physicians find it expedient to use the most in- 
sinuating address in recommending to their patients 
a wholesome, though far from pleasant, regimen ; 
liow much more occasion had He to exert all the 
powers of persuasion, who, out of regard to the 
public welfare, was endeavouring to reconcile it to 
a most useful, though not very popular, benefaction : 
particularly, as my aim was to recommend an 
establishment calculated singly for the benefit 
of those who were parents, to such as were not 
so ; and to persuade the 7fiant/ that they should 
patiently wait for and endeavour to deserve an 
honour, of which, at present, a few only could 

But as at that time, when I attempted to ex- 
plain and enforce the design and benefit of my 
institution, I considered more the general good of 
my countrymen than any reputation which might 
arise to myself; so I am apprehensive if I publisli 



aliorum utilitatibus^ seel propriae laudi servisse videa- 
mur. Praeterea meminimus, quanto maiore animo 
honestatis fnictus in conscientia quam in fama rc- 
ponatur. Sequi enim gloi'ia, non adpeti debet, nee, 
si casu aliquo non sequatur, idcirco, quod gloriam 
uon meruit,' minus pulchrum est. li vero, qui 
benefacta sua verbis adornant, non idco praedicare, 
quia fecerint, sed ut praedicarent, fecisse creduntur. 
Sic, quod magnificum referente alio fuisset, ipso, 
qui gesserat, recensente vanescit. Homines enim, 
cum rem destruere non possunt, iactationem eius 
incessunt. Ita, si silenda feceris, factum ipsum, si 
laudanda, quod non sileas, ipse culparis. Me vero 
peculiaris quaedam impedit ratio. Etenim hunc ipsum 
sermonem non apud populum, sed apud decuriones 
habui, nee in propatulo, sed in curia. Vereor ergo, 
ut sit satis congruens, cum in dicendo adsentationem 
vulgi adclamationemque defugerim, nunc eadem ilia 
editione sectari, cumque plebem ipsam, cui consule- 
batur, limine curiae parietibusque discreverim, ne 
quam in speciem ambitionis inciderem, nunc eos 
etiam, ad quos ex munere nostro nihil pertinet 
praeter exemplum, velut obvia ostentatione conqui- 

' non meruit Fpra, Otto, Miiller, non ovi. rtU. 

BOOK I. viii 

that piece, it will seem as if I had a view rather 
to my own credit than the benefit of others. [Besides, 
I am sensible how much nobler it is to place the 
reward of virtue in the silent approbation of one's 
own breast than in the applause of the world. 
Glory ought to be the consequence, not the motive of 
our actions ; and though it should sometimes happen 
not to attend the worthy deed, yet such a deed is 
none the less amiable for having missed the applause 
it deserved. But the world is apt to suspect that 
those who celebrate their own generous acts, do not 
extol them because they performed them, but i)er- 
formed them that they might have the pleasure of 
extolling them. Thus the splendour of an action 
which would have shone out in full lustre if related 
by another, vanishes and dies away when he that did 
it tells the tale. Such is the disposition of mankind, 
if they cannot blast an action, they will censure the 
parade of it ; and whether you do what does not 
deserve to be taken notice of, or take notice your- 
self of what does, either way you incur reproach. 
I In my own case there is a peculiar circumstance 
that impedes me : This speech was pronounced not 
before the people, but the local senate ; not out of 
doors, but in the town-hall ; I doubt therefore it will 
appear inconsistent that 1, who, when I delivered it, 
avoided popular applause, should now, by publishing 
this {)erformance, appear to court the same : that I, 
who would not admit to the town-hall the very 
populace who were interested in my benefaction, 
lest it might be suspected I was actuated in this 
affair by any ambitious views, should now seem to 
solicit admiration, by forwardly displaying it to such 
as have no other concern in my munificence than the 



rere. Habes cunctationis meae causas ; obsequar 
tamen consilio tuo, cuius mihi auctoritas pro ratione 
sufficit. Vale. 



MiRUM est, quam singulis diebus in urbe ratio aut 

constet aut constare videatur, pluribus iunctisque ^ 

non constet. Nam, si quern interroges, ' Hodie 

quid egisti ? ' respondeat ; ' Officio togae virilis in- 

terfui ; sponsalia aut nuptias frequentavi ; ille me ad 

signandum testamentum, ille in advocationem, ille in 

consilium rogavit.' Haec quo die feceris, necessaria ; 

eadem, si quotidie fecisse te reputes, inania videntur, 

multo magis, cum secesseris. Tunc enim subit re- 

"cordatTo: 'Quot dies quam frigidis rebus absumpsi !' 

Quod evenit mihi, postquam in Laurentino meo aut 

lego aliquid aut scribo aut etiam corpori vaco, cuius 

fulturis animus sustinetur. Nihil audio, quod audisse, 

nihil dico, quod dixisse paeniteat ; nemo apud me 

quemquam sinistris sermonibus carpit, neminem ipse 

1 iunctisque F Rice, a, K^, cunctisque Dpr. 

" At the age of fifteen, Roman boys discarded the toya 
praetexta (white, with a purple border) for the plain white 
toga virilis, the dress of adult citizens. The " coming-of- 
age " ceremonies included a sacrifice to the household Lares, 
a family procession to the Forum, and a sacrifice offered in 
the Capitol. 


BOOK I. viii.-ix 

benefit of example. These are the scruples which 
have occasioned my delaying to give this piece to 
the public ; but I submit them entirely to your 
judgement, which I shall ever esteem as a sufficient 
reason for my conduct. Farewell. 



One cannot but be sui'prised, that take any single 
day in Rome, the reckoning comes out right, or at 
least seems to do so ; and yet, if you take them 
in the lump, the reckoning comes out wrong. Ask 
anyone how he has been employed to-day ? he will 
tell you, perhaps, " I have been at the ceremony 
of assuming the manly rohe;^ this friend invited me 
to a betrothal, this to a wedding ; that desired me 
to attend the hearing of his cause ; one begged me 
to be witness to his will ; another called me to sit 
as co-assessor." These are o.ffices which, on the day 
one is engaged in them, appear necessary ; yet they 
seem bagatelles when reckoned as your daily occupa- 
tion^and far more so, when you have quitted Rome 
for the'country. Then one is aj)tto reflect. How many 
days have I spent on trifles ! At least it is a reflection 
which frequently comes across me at Laurentum, 
after I have been employing myself in my studies, 
or even in the necessary care of the animal machine 
(for the body must be repaired and supported, if we 
would preserve the mind in all its vigour). In that 
peaceful retreat, I neither hear nor speak anything 
of which I have occasion to repent. I suffer none to 
repeat to me the whispers of malice ; nor do I censure 



reprehendo, nisi tamen me, cum parum commode 
scribo ; nulla spe, nullo timore sollicitor, nullis 
lumoribus inquietor, mecum tantum et cum libellis 
loquor. O rectam sinceramque vitam ! o dulce 
otium honestumque ac paene omni negotio pul- 
chrius ! O mare, o litus, verum secretumque fiov- 
ai7ov, quam multa invenitis, quam multa dictatis! 
Proinde tu quoque strepitum istum inanemque dis- 
cursum et multum ineptos labores, ut primum fuerit 
occasio, relinque teque studiis vel otio trade. Satius 
est enim, ut Atilius noster eruditissime simul et 
facetissime dixit, otiosum esse quam nihil agere. 

C. Pi.iNius Attio Clementi Suo S. 

Si quando urbs nostra liberalibus studiis floruitj 
nunc maxime floret. Multa claraque exempla sunt ; 
sufficeret unum, Euphrates philosophus. Hunc ego 
in Syria, cum adulescentulus militarem, penitus et 
domi inspexi amarique ab eo laboi*avi ; etsi non erat 
laboi-andum. Est enim obvius et expositus plenusque 
humanitate, quam praecipit. Atque utinam sic ipse, 
quam spem tunc ille de me concepit, impleverim, 
ut ille multum virtutibus suis addidit ! aut ego nunc 
illas magis miror, quia magis intellego ; quamquam 

"» A Stoic, who taught in Tyre until he followed Vespasian 
to Rome. When aged and infirm, he committed suicide, 
agreeably to Stoic principles (118 A. d.). 


BOOK I. ix.-x 

any man^ unless myself, when I am dissatisfied with 
my compositions. Tliere I live undisturbed by rumour, 
and free from the anxious solicitudes of hope or 
fear, conversing only with myself and my books. 
True and genuine life ! pleasing ^and honourable 
repose ! More, perhaps, to be desired than the 
noblest employments ! Thou solemn sea and solitary 
shore, best and most retired scene for contemplation, 
with how many noble thoughts have you inspired me ' 
Snatch then, my friend, as I have^ the first occasion 
of leaving the noisy town with all its very empty 
pui'suits, and devote your days to study, or even 
resign them to sloth : for as my ingenious friend 
Atilius pleasantly said, " It is better to do nothing, 
than to be doms of nol/iincr." Farewell. 


To Attius Clemens 

If ever polite literature flourished at Rome, it 
certainly does now, of which I could give you many 
eminent instances : I will content myself however 
with naming only Euphrates the philosopher. <* I 
made intimate acquaintance with this person in 
my youth, when I served in the army in Syria and 
took some pains to gain his afFectioUp though that 
indeed was nothing difficult, for he is exceeding 
open to access, and full of that humanity which he pro- 
fesses. I should think myself exti'emely happy if I had 
as much answered the expectations he at that time 
conceived of me, as he has increased his own excellen- 
cies. But perhaps I admire these more now, than I 
did then, because I understand them better ; though I 



ne nunc quidem satis intellego. Ut enim de pictore, 
scalptore, fictore nisi artifcx iudicare, ita nisi sapiens 
non potest perspicere sapientem. Quantum milii 
tamen ccrnere datur, raulta in Euphrate sic eminent 
et elucent, ut mediocriter quoque doctos advertant 
-^ et adficiant. Disputat subtiliter, graviter, ornate, 
frequenter etiam -Platonicam illam sublimitatem et 
latitudinem etfingit. Sermo est copiosus et varius, 
dulcis in primis, et qui repugnantes quoque ducat, 
impellat. Ad hoc proceritas corporis, decora facies, 
demissus capillus, ingens et cana bai-ba ; quae licet 
fortuita et inania putentur, illi tamen plurimum 
venerationis adquirunt. Nullus hon-or in cultu, nulla 


tristitia, multum severitatis ;<1 reverearis occursum, 
non reformides. j^Vitae sanctitas summa, comitas 
par ; insectatur vitia, non homines ; nee castigat 
errantes, sed emendat. Sequaris monentem attentus 
et pendens et persuaderi tibi, etiam cum persuaserit, 

lam vero liberi tres, duo mares, quos diligen- 
tissime instituit. Socer Pompeius lulianus cum 
cetera vita tum vel hoc uno magnus et clarus, quod 

" Otherwise unknown. 


do not fully understand them yet. For as none but 
those who are skilled in Painting, Statuary, or the 
plastic art, can form a right judgement of any master 
in those arts; so a man must himself have made 
great advances in philosophy, before he is capable of 
forming a just notion of a pliilosopher. How^ever, 
as far as I am qualified to determine, Euphrates is 
possessed of so many shining talents, that he can- 
not fail to sti'ike and engage even the somewhat 
illiterate. He reasons with much force, penetration, 
and elegance, and frequently embodies all the 
sublime and luxuriant eloquence of Plato. His 
style is rich and various, and at the same time so 
wonderfully sweet, that it seduces the attention of 
the most unwilling hearer. His outward appearance 
is agreeable to all the rest : he has a tall figure, a 
comely aspect, long hair, and a large white beard : 
circumstances which though they may probably be 
thought trifling and accidental, contribute however 
to gain him much reverence. There is no uncouth- 
ngss in his manner, which is grave, but not austere ; 
.^mid his approach commands respect without creating 
awe. -Distinguished as he is by the sanctity of his 
life, he is no less so by his polite and affable address. 
He points his eloquence against the vices, not the 
persons of mankiiid, and without chastising reclaims 
the wanderer. His exhortations so captivate your 
attention, that you hang as it were upon his hps ; 
and even after the heart is convinced, the ear still 
wishes to listen to the harmonious reasoner. 

His family consists of three children (two of which 
are sons) whom he educates with the utmost care. 
His father-in-law, Pompeius Julianus,*^ as he greatly 
distinguished himself in every other part of his life, 

D 2 


ipse provinciae princeps inter altissimas condiciones 
generum non honoribus principeni;, sed sapientia 
elegit. Quamquam quid ego plura de viro^ quo niihi 
frui non licet ? an, ut magis angar, quod non licet ? 
Nam distringor officio ut maximo sic molestissimo ; 
^edeo pro tribunali, subnoto libellos, conficio tabulas, 
scribo plurimas, sed inliteratissimas litteras. Soleo 
nonnumquam (nam id ipsum quando contingit !) de 
his occupationibus apud Euphratem queri. Ille me 
consolatur, adfinnat etiam esse banc philosophiae et 
quidem pulcherrimam partem, agere negotium pub- 
licum, cognoscere, iudicare, promere et exercere 
iustitiam, quaeque ipsi doceant, in usu habere. Mihi 
tamen hoc unum non persuadet, satius esse ista 
facere quam cum illo dies totos audiendo discendoque 
consumere. Quo magis te, cui vacat, hortor, cum in 
urbem proxime veneris (venias autem ob hoc matu- 
rius), illi te expoliendum limandumque permittas. 
Neque enim ego ut multi invideo aliis bonum, quo ipse 
careo, sed \contra^sensum quendam voluptatemque 
percipio, si ea, quae mihi denegantur, amicis video 
superesse. Vale. 


so particularly in this, that though he was himself a 
leading personage in his province, yet among many 
prospective sons-in-law of the highest rank, he chose 
the first in wisdom, though not in dignity. | But to 
dwell any longer upon the virtues of a man, whose 
conversation 1 am so unfortunate as not to have 
leisure to enjoy, what would it avail but to increase 
my uneasiness that I cannot enjoy it ? My time is 
w^holly taken up in the execution of an office highly 
important and correspondingly troublesome ; in hear- 
ing of causes, annotating petitions, passing accounts, 
and writing of letters ; but letters, alas ! of the most 
unlettered description. I sometimes complain to 
Euphrates (for how seldom have I leisure even for 
that !) of these unpleasing occupations. He endea-. 
vours to comfort me by affirming that to be engaged 
in the service of the public, to hear and determine 
causes, to explain the laws, and administer justice, is 
a part, and the noblest part too, of Philosophy, as it 
is reducing to practice what her professors teacli in 
speculation. It may be so : but that it is as agreeable 
as to spend whole days in attending to his instructive 
conversation — on this one point he will never be 
able to convince me. I all the more strongly 
recommend it to you, who have leisure, the next 
time you come to Rome (and you will come, I dare 
say, so much the sooner) to take the benefit of his 
elegant and refined instructions. I am not, you see, 
in the number of those who envy others the happiness 
they cannot share themselves : on the contrary, it is 
a vei-y sensible pleasure to me, when I find my 
friends abounding in enjoyments from which I have 
the misfortune to be excluded. Farewell. 




C. PuNius Fabio Iusto Suo S. 

Olim nullas milii epistulas mittis. ' Nihil est/ 
inquis, 'quod scribam.' At hoc ipsum scribe, nihil 
esse, quod scribas, vel solum illud, unde incipere 
priores solebant ; ' Si vales, bene est ; ego valeo.' 
Hoc mihi sufficit ; est enim maximum. Ludere me 
putas ? serio peto. Fac sciam, quid agas, quod sine 
soUicitudine summa nescire non possum. Vale. 

C. Plinius Calestrio Tironi Suo S. 

Iacturam gravissimam feci, si iactura dicenda est 
tanti viri amissio. Decessit Corellius Rufus et quidem 
sponte, quod dolorem meum exulcerat. Est enim 
luctuosissinium genus mortis, quae non ex natura 
nee fatalis videtur. Nam utcunque in illis, qui 
morbo finiuntur, magnum ex ipsa necessitate solatium 
est, in iis vero, quos arcessita mors aufert, hie in- 
sanabilis dolor est, quod creduntur potuisse diu 
vivere. Corellium quidem summa ratio, quae sapien- 

BOOK I. xi.-xii 


To Fabius Justus 

It is long since I received a letter from you. You 
will allege, perhaps, you have nothing to write : but 
let me have the satisfaction at least of seeing it 
under your hand, or tell me merely in the good old 
style of exordium, " If you are well, I am so." I 
shall be contented even M'ith that; as indeed 
that single circumstance from a friend includes 
every thing. You may possibly think I jest : but 
believe me I am extremely in earnest. Let me 
know how it is with you ; for I cannot be ignorant of 
that, without the utmost anxiety. Farewell. 


To Calestrius Tiro 

I HAVE suffered a most heav y fo.y £| if that word is 
strong enough to express the niislort'une which has 
deprived me of so excellent a man. Corellius Rufus 
is dead ! and dead too by his own act ! a circumstance 
of great aggravation to my affliction, as that sort of 
death which we cannot impute either to the course 
of nature, or the hand of providence, is of all others 
the most to be lamented. It affords much consolation 
in the loss of those friends whom disease snatches 
from us, that they fall by the inevitable fate of man- 
kind : but those who destroy themselves leave us 
under the inconsolable reflection that they had it in 
their power to have lived long. 'Tis true Corellius 



tibus pro necessitate est, ad lioc consilium compulit, 
quamqiiani plurimas vivendi causas habentem, op- 
timam conscientianij optimani famam, maximam auc- 
toritatem, praeterea filiam, uxorem, nepotem, sorores 
interque tot pignora veros amicos. Sed tam longa, 
tarn iniqua valetudine conflictabatur, ut haoc tanta 
pretia vivendi mortis rationibus vincerentur. 

Tertio et tricensimo anno, ut ipsum audiebam, 
pedum dolore correptus est. Patrius hie illi; nam 
plerumque morbi quoque per successiones quasdam ut 
alia traduntur. Hunc abstinentia, sanctitate, quoad 
viridis aetas^ vicit et fi-egit ; novissime cum senectute 
ingravescentem viribus animi sustinebat, cum quidem 
incredibilis cruciatus et indignissima tormenta pate- 
retur. lam enim dolor non pedibus solis ut prius 
insidebat^ sed omnia membra pervagabatur. Veni 
ad eum Domitiani temporibus in suburbano iacen- 
tem. Servi e cubiculo recesserunt ; habebat enim 
hoc moriSj quotiens intrasset fidelior amicus ; quin 
etiam uxor quamquam omnis secreti capacissima 
digrediebatur. Circumtulit oculos et 'cur/ inquit 
'me putas hos tantos dolores tamdiu sustinere ? ut 


BOOK I. xii 

had many inducements to be fond of life ; a blame- 
less conscience, high reputation, and great dignity, 
together with all the tender endearments of a wife, 
a daughter, a grandson, and sisters, and amidst these 
considerable pledges of happiness, many and faithful 
friends. Still it must be owned he had the highest 
reason (which to a wise man will always have the 
force of necessity) to determine him in this resolution. 
He had long laboured under so tedious and painful a 
distemper, that even these blessings, great and 
valuable as they are, could not balance his induce- 
ments to die. 

In his thirty-third year (as I have frequently 
heard him say) he was seized with the gout in 
his feet. This he received from his father; for 
diseases, as well as possessions, are oftentimes 
transmitted by a kind of inheritance. A life of 
abstinence and virtue had something broke the 
force of this distemper while he had strength and 
youth to struggle with it ; as a manly courage 
supported him under the increasing weight of it in 
his old age though suffering the most incredible and 
cruel tortures, since the gout by then was not only in 
his feet, but had spread itself over his whole body. 
In the reign of Domitian, I made him a visit at his 
country-house, where I found him lying sick. As 
soon as I entered his chamber, his servants withdrew : 
for such was his constant rule when any very intimate 
friend was with him : he even earned it so far as to 
dismiss his wife upon such occasions, though worthy of 
the highest confidence. Looking round about him, 
" Do you know," says he " why I endure life under 
these cruel agonies } It is with the hope that I may 


scilicet isti lationi vel uno die supersim.' Dedisses 
huie animo par corpus, fecissetj quod optabat. 

Adfuit tamen deus voto, cuius ille compos ut iam 
securus liberque moriturus multa ilia vitae, sed minora 
retinacula abrupit. Increverat valetudo, quam tem- 
perantia mitigare temptavit ; perseverantem constan- 
tia fugit. Iam dies alter, tertius, quartus ; abstinebat 
cibo. Misit ad me uxor eius Hispulla communem 
amicum C. Geminium cum tristissimo nuntio de- 
stinasse Corellium mori nee aut suis aut filiae precibus 
flecti, solum superesse me, a quo revocari posset ad 
vitam. Cucurri. Perveneram in proximum, cum mihi 
ab eadem Hispulla lulius Atticus nuntiat nihil iam 
ne me quidem impetraturum ; tarn obstinate magis 
ac magis induruisse. Dixerat sane medico admoventi 
cibum : K^KpLKo, quae vox quantum admii-ationis in 
animo meo tantum desiderii reliquit. 

Ckjgito, quo amico, quo viro caream. Implevit quidem 
annum septimum et sexagensimum, quae aetas etiam 
robustissimis satis longa est ; scio. Evasit perpetuam 

" Domitian. 

BOOK I. xii 

outlive, at least for one day, that brigand." * And 
had you given him strength equal to his resolution, 
he would infallibly have brought to pass what he 

Still, Heaven heard his prayer, and having ob- 
tained it, he broke through those great, but now 
insufficient attachments to the world, since he 
could die in possession of security and freedom. 
His distemper increased ; and as it now grew too 
violent to admit of any relief from temperance, 
he resolutely determined to put an end to its un- 
interrupted attacks by an effort of heroism. He 
had I'efused all sustenance for four days, when his 
wife, Hispulla, sent to me our common friend 
Geminius, Avith the melancholy news that he was 
resolved to die ; and that she and her daughter 
having in vain joined in their most tender persuas- 
ions to divert him from his purpose, the only hope 
they had now left was my endeavours to reconcile him 
to life. I ran to his house with the utmost precipi- 
tation. As I approached it, I met a second messen- 
ger from Hispulla, Julius Attius, who informed me 
tliere was nothing to be hoped for, even from me, as 
he grew more and more inflexible in his resolution. 
What confirmed their fears was an expression he 
made use of to his physician, who pressed him to take 
some nourishment : " 'tis resolved," he said : an expres- 
sion which as it raised my admiration of his greatness 
of soul, so it does my grief for the loss of him. 

I am every moment reflecting what a valuable 
friend, what an excellent man I am deprived of. 
That he was arrived to his sixty-seventh year, which 
is an age even the strongest seldom exceed, I 
well know ; that he is delivered from a life of 



valetudinem ; scio. Decessit superstitibus suis, floren- 
te republica, quae illi omnibus suis carior erat ; et 
hoc scio. Ego tamen tamquain et iuvenis et firmis- 
simi mortem doleOj doleo autem (licet me imbecillum 
putes) meo nomine. Amisi enim, amisi vitae meae te- 
stem, rectorem, magistrum. In summa dicam, quod 
recenti dolore contubernali meo Calvisio dixi : ' Ve- 
reor, ne neglegentius vivam.' Proinde adhibe solacia 
mihij non haec : ' Senex erat, infirmus erat ' (haec 
enim novi), sed nova aliqua, sed magna, quae audie- 
rim nunquam, legerim nunquam. Nam, quae audivi, 
quae legi, sponte succurrunt, sed tanto dolore super- 
antur. Vale. 


C. Plinius Sosio Senecioni Suo S. 

Magnum proventum poetarum annus hie attu- 
lit ; toto mense Aprili nullus fere dies, quo non 
recitaret aliquis. luvat me, quod vigent studia, pro- 
ferunt se ingenia hominum et ostentant, tametsi ad 
audiendum pigre coitur. Plerique in stationibus 

BOOK I. xii.-xiii 

continual pain ; that he left a family ; that he left 
(what he loved even more) his country in a flourish- 
ing state ; all this I know. Still I cannot forbear to 
weep for him as if he had been in the prime and 
vigour of his days : and I weep (shall I own my 
weakness ?) upon a private account. For I have lost, 
oh ! I have lost the witness, the guide, and the 
director of my life ! In fine, I confess to you what 
I did to my friend Calvisius in the first transport of 
my grief — I sadly fear, now that I am no longer 
under his eye, I shall not keep so strict a guard over 
my conduct. Speak comfort to me therefore, I 
entreat you ; not by telling me that " he was old, 
that he was infirm " ; all this I know ; but by supply- 
ing me with some arguments that are uncommon 
and resistless, tliat neither the writings nor the 
discourses of the philosophers can teach me. For all 
that I have heard and all that I have read occur to 
me of themselves ; but all these are by far too 
weak to support me under so heavy an affliction. 


To Sosius Senecio 

This year has proved extremely fertile in poetical 
productions ; during the whole month of April, 
scarce a day has passed wherein we have not been 
entertained with the recital of some poem. It is a 
pleasure to me to find, notwithstanding there seems 
to be so little disposition in the public to attend 
assemblies of this kind, that literary pursuits still 
flourish, and men of genius are not discouraged from 
producing their perfonnances. The greater part of 



sedent tempiisque nudieudi fabulis conterunt ac 
subinde sil)i nuntiari iubent, an iam recitator intra- 
verit, an dixerit praefationem, an ex magna parte 
evolverit librum ; turn demum ac tunc quoque lente 
cunctanterque veniunt nee taiaien permanent, sed 
ante finem recedunt, alii dissimulanter et furtim, alii 
simpliciter et libere. At hercule memoria parentum 
Claudium Caesarem ferunt, cum in Palatio spatiaretur 
audissetque clamorem, causam requisissCj eumque 
dictum esset recitare Nonianum, subitum recitanti 
inopinatumque venisse. Nunc otiosissimus quisque 
multo ante rogatus et identidem admonitus aut non 
venit aut, si venit, queritur se diem, quia non perdi- 
derit, perdidisse. Sed tanto magis laudandi proban- 
dique sunt, quos a scribendi recitandique studio haec 
auditorum vel desidia vel superbia non retardat. 
Equidem prope nemini defui. Erant sane plerique 
amici ; neque enim quisquam est fere, qui studia, ut 
non simul et nos amet. His ex causis longius, quam 
destinaveram, tempus in urbe consumpsi. Possum 
iam repetere secessum et scribere aliquid, quod non 
recitem, ne videar, quorum recitationibus adfui, non 

BOOK I. xiii 

the audience which is collected upon these occasions 
seat themselves in the ante-chambers ; spend the 
time of the recitation in talk and send in every now 
and then to inquire whether the author is come in, 
whether he has read the preface, or whether he has 
almost finished the piece. Not till then, and even 
then with the utmost deliberation, they just look in, 
and withdraw again before the end, some by stealth, 
and others without ceremony. I It was not thus in 
the time of our ancestors. 'It is I'eported that 
Claudius Caesar, one day hearing a noise as he 
walked on the Palatine, inquired the occasion of 
it, and being informed that Nonianus was reciting 
a composition of his, went immediately to the place, 
and surprised the author with liis presence. But 
now, were one to bespeak the company even of the 
most idle man living, and remind him of the 
appointment ever so often, or ever so long before- 
hand, either he would avoid it, or, if not, would 
complain of having lost a day ; and for no 
other reason, but because he had not lost it. So 
much the rather do those authors deserve our en- 
couragement and applause, who have resolution to 
pei'severe in their studies, and exhibit their per- 
formances, notwithstanding this indolence or pi'ide 
of their audience. For my own part, I scarce ever 
refuse to be present upon such occasions. Though, 
to say truth, the authors have generally been my 
friends ; as indeed there are few friends of learning 
who are not. It is this has kept me in town 
longer than I intended. I am now however at 
liberty to withdraw to my retirement, and write 
something myself: but without any intentions of 
reciting in my turn. I would not have it thought 



auditor fuisse, sed creditor. Nam ut in ceteris rebus 
ita in audiendi officio perit gratia, si reposcatur. 

C. Plinius Iunio Maurico Suo S. 

Petis, ut fratris tui filiae prospiciam maritum ; 
quod merito mihi potissimum iniungis. Scis enim, 
quantopere summum ilium virum suspexerim dilexe- 
rimque, quibus ille adulescentiam meam exhortationi- 
bus foverit, quibus etiam laudibus, ut laudandus vi- 
derer, effecerit. Nihil est, quod a te mandari mihi aut 
maius aut gratius, nihil, quod honestius a me suscipi 
possitj quam ut eligam iuvenem, ex quo nasci nepotes 
Aruleno Rustico deceat. Qui quideni diu quaerendus 
fuisset, nisi paratus et quasi provisus esset Minicius 
Acilianus, qui me ut iuvenis iuvenem (est enim minor 
pauculis annis) familiarissime diligit, reveretur ut 
senem. Nam ita a me formari et iustitui cupit, ut 
ego a vobis solebam. 

Patria est ei Brixia ex ilia nostra Italia, quae 
multum adhuc verecundiae, frugalitatis atque etiam 
rusticitatis antiquae retinet ac servat. Pater 
Minicius Macrinus, equestris ordinis princeps, quia 

BOOK I. xiii.-xiv 

that I rather lent than gave my attendance ; for in 
these, as in all other good offices, the obligation 
ceases the moment you seem to expect a return. 


To Junius Mauricus 

You desire me to look out a husband for your 
niece ; and it is with justice you enjoin me that 
office. You were a witness to the esteem and 
affection I bore that great man her father, and 
with what noble instructions he formed my youth, 
and taught me to deserve those praises he was 
pleased to bestow upon me. You could not give 
me then a more important, or more agreeable 
commission, nor could I be employed in an office of 
higher honour, than of choosing a young man worthy 
of continuing the family of Rusticus Arulenus : a 
choice I should be long in determining if I were not 
acquainted with Minicius Acilianus, who seems 
formed for our purpose. While he loves me with 
that warmth of affection which is usual between 
young men of equal years (as indeed I have the 
advance of him but by very few) he revei'cs me at 
the same time with all the deference due to age ; 
and is as desirous to model himself by my instructions, 
as I was by those of yourself and your brother. 

He is a native of Brixia, a city of that Italy we 
both love, the Italy which still retains much of the 
sobriety, the frugality — ay, and the rustic plainness 
— of ancient manners. He is son to Minicius 
Macrinus, whose humble desires were satisfied with 
being first in the rank of the Equesti'ian order : for 




nihil altius voluit ; adlectus a divo Vespasiano 
inter Praetorios honestam qiiietem huic nostrae 
anibitioni dicam an dignitati constantissime praetulit. 
Habet aviam maternam Serranam Proculam e 
municipio Patavino. Nosti loci mores ; Serrana 
tamen Patavinis quoque severitatis exemplum est. 
Contigit et avunculus ei P. Acilius gravitate, pru- 
dentia, fide prope singular!. In summa nihil erit in 
domo tota, quod non tibi tanquam in tua placeat. 
Aciliano vero ipsi plurimum vigoris et industriae^ 
quamquam in maxima verecundia. Quaesturam, 
tribunatum, praeturam honestissime percucurrit ac 
iam pro se tibi necessitatem ambiendi remisit. Est 
illi facies liberalis multo sanguine, muJto rubore 
sufFusa, est ingenua totius corporis pulchritudo et 
quidam senatorius decor. Quae ego nequaquam 
arbitror neglegenda ; debet enim hoc castitati puel- 
larum quasi praemium daii. 

Nescio, an adiciam esse patri eius amplas 
facultates. Nam, cum imaginor vos, qufljus quae- 
rimus generum, silendum de facultatibus puto ; 
cum publicos mores atque etiam leges civitatis 
intueor, quae vel in primis census hominum spec- 
tandos arbitrantur, ne id quidem praetereundum 
videtur. Et sane de posteris et his pluribus cogitanti 

« The Emperor, in his capacity of Censor, could not only 
admit extra members into the Senate, but confer honorary 
ofGcial rank on his nominees. 


BOOK I. xiv 

thougli he was admitted to Praetorian rank by Ves- 
pasian," yet with a determined greatness of mind, he 
rather preferred an elegant repose, to the ambitious, 
shall I call them, or honourable pursuits in which we 
in public life are engaged. His grandmother on the 
mother's side is Serrana Procula, of Padua : you are 
""no stranger to the manners of that place ; yet Ser- 
rana is looked upon, even among these reserved 
people, as an exemplary instance of strict virtue. 
Acilius, his uncle, is a man of singular gravity, wisdom, 
and integrity. In a word, you will find nothing 
throughout his family but what you would approve in 
your own. Minicius himself has great vivacity, as 
well as application, joined at the same time with a 
most amiable and becoming modesty. He has already, 
with much credit, passed through the offices of Quaes- 
tor, Tribune, and Praetor, so that you will be spared 
the trouble of soliciting for him those honourable 
employments. He has a genteel and ruddy coun- 
tenance, with a certain noble mien tliat speaks the 
man of distinction : advantages, I think, by no 
means to be slighted, since I look upon them as the 
proper tribute to vii-gin innocence. 

I am doubtful whether I should add that his 
father is very rich. When I consider the character 
of those who require a husband of my choosing, 
I feel it is unnecessary to mention wealth ; 
but when I reflect upon the prevailing manners 
of the age, and even the laws of Rome, which 
rank a man according to his possessions, it certainly 
claims some notice : and indeed in choosing a match, 
where a perhaps numerous progeny are to be 
considered, it is an article that well deserves to 
be taken into the account. You will be inclined 

E 2 


hie quoque in condicionibus deligendis ponendus est 
ealculus. jTu fortasse me putes indulsisse amori meo 
supraque ista, quam res patituv, sustulisse. At ego 
fide mea spondeo futurum ut omnia longe ampliora, 
quam a me praedicantur, invenias. Diligo quidem 
adulescentem ardentissime, sicut meretur; sed hoc 
ipsum amautis est, nou onerare eum laudibus. Vale 


C. Plinius Septicio Claro Suo S. 

Heus tu ! promittis ad coenam, nee venis. Dicitnr 
ius ; ad assem impendium reddes nee id modicum. 
Paratae erant lactucae singulae, cochleae teniae, ova 
bina, halica cum mulso et nive (nam banc quoque 
computabi;s, immo banc in j)vimis, quae perit in 
ferculo), olivae, betacei, cucurbitae, bulbi, alia mille 
non minus lauta. Audisses comoedum vel lectorem 
vel lyristen vel, quae mea liberalitas, omnes. At tu 
apud nescio quern ostrea, vulvas, echinos, Gaditanas 
maluisti. Dabis poenas, non dico quas. Dure fecisti ; 

BOOK I. xiv.-xv 

perhaps to suspect^ that affection has had too great 
a share in the character I have been drawing, and 
that I have heightened it beyond the truth. But I 
will stake all my credit, you will find every thing far 
beyond what I have represented. I confess, indeed, 
I love Minicius (as he justly deserves) with all the 
warmth of the most ardent affection ; but for that 
very reason I would not overload him with en- 
comiums. Farewell. 


To Septicius Clarus 

How happened it, my friend, that you did not 
keep your engagement the other night to sup with 
me ? Now take notice, the court is sitting, and you 
shall fully reimburse me the expense I was at to 
treat you — which, let me tell you, was no small sum. 
I had prepared, you must know, a lettuce and three 
snails apiece ; with two eggs, barley-water, some 
sweet wine and snow (the snow most certainly 
I shall charge to your account, and at a high 
rate, as 'twas spoiled in serving). Besides all these 
curious dishes, there were olives, beets, gourds, 
shalots, and a hundred other dainties equally sump- 
tuous. You should likewise have been entertained 
either with an interlude, the rehearsal of a poem, or 
a piece of music, as you like best ; or (such was my 
liberality) with all three. But the oysters, oliitter- 
lings, sea-urchins and Spanish dancers of a certain 

I know not who, were, it seems, more to 

your taste. However I shall have my revenge of 
you depend upon it ; — in what manner, shall at 




invidisti, nescio an tibi, certe mihij sed tamen et tibi. 
Quantum nos lusissemus, risissenius, studuissemus 
Potes apparatius cocnare apud multos, nusquam 
hilai-ius, simplicius, incautius. In summa experire et, 
nisi postea te aliis potius excusaveris, mihi semper 
excusa. Vale. 


C. PuNius Erucio Suo S. 

Amabam Pompeium Saturninum, hunc dico nostrum, 
laudabamque eius ingenium, etiam antequam scirem, 
quam varium, quam flexibile, quam multiplex esset : 
nunc vero totum me tenet, habet, possidet. Audivi 
causas agentem acriter et ardenter, nee minus polite 
et ornate, sive nieditata sive subita proferret. 
Adsunt aptae crebraeque sententiae, gravis et decora 
constructio, sonantia verba et antiqua. Omnia haec 
mire placent, cum impetu quodam et flumine praeve- 
luintur, placent, si retractentur. Senties quod ego, 
cum orationes eius in manus siimpseris, quas facile 
cuilibet veterum, quorum est aemulus, comparabis. 
54 / ,. 

BOOK I. xv.-xvi 

present be a secret. In good truth it was not kind 
thus to mortify your friend, I had almost said your- 
self ;— and upon second thoughts I do say so : for how 
agreeably should we have spent the evening, in 
laughing, trifling, and instruction ! You may sup, 1 
confess, at many places more splendidly ; but you can 
be treated no where, believe me, with more uncon- 
strained cheerfulness, simplicity and freedom : 
only make the experiment ; and if you do not 
ever afterwards prefer my table to any other, never 
favour me with your company again. Farewell. 


To Erucius 

I CONCEIVED an affection for Pompeius Saturninus 
(I mean our friend of that name), and admired his 
genius, even long before I knew the extensive 
variety of his talents : but he has now taken full and 
unreserved possession of my whole heart. I have 
heard him in the unpremeditated, as well as studied 
speech, plead with no less warmth and energy, than 
grace and eloquence. He abounds with just re- 
flexions ; his periods are graceful and majestic ; his 
words resonant with antiquity. jThese united qualities 
infinitely delight you, not only when you are carried 
along, if I may so say, with the resistless flow of his 
charming and emphatical elocution ; but when con- 
sidered distinct and apart from that advantage. I 
am persuaded you will be of this opinion when you 
peruse his orations, and will not hesitate to place him 
in the same rank with any of the ancients, whom he 



Idem tamen in historia magis satisfaciet vel brevitate 
vel luce vel suavitate vel splendore etiam et subli- 
mitate narrandi. Nam in concionibus idem, qui' in 
oratiouibus suis est ; pressior tamen et circum- 
scriptior et adductior. Praeterea facit versus, quales 
Catullus aut Calvus. Quantum illis leporis, dulcedinis, 
amaritudinis, amoris ! inserit sane, sed data opera, 
mollibus lenibusque duriusculos quosdam et hoc quasi 
Catullus aut Calvus. 

Legit mihi nuper epistulas, quas uxoris esse dicebat. 
Plautum vel Terentium metro solutum legi credidi.. 
Quae sive uxoris sunt, ut affirmat, sive ipsius, ut negat, 
pai'i gloria dignus est, qui aut ilia componat aut 
uxorem, quam virginem accepit, tarn doctam politam- 
que reddiderit. 

Est ergo mecum per diem totum ; eundem, 
antequam scribam, eundem, cum scripsi, eundem, 
etiam cum remittor, non tanquam eundem lego. 
Quod te quoque ut facias et hortor et moneo. 
Neque enim debet operibus eius obesse, quod 
vivit. An, si inter eos, quos nunquam vidimus, 
floruisset, non solum libros eius, verum etiam im- 

" i.e. the speeches he put into the mouths of his 


BOOK I. xvi 

emulates. But you will view him with still higlier 
pleasure in the character of an historian, where his 
narrative style is by turns concise, clear, smooth, 
or actually glowing and sublime ; and the same 
eloquence, though more compressed and limited, 
runs through his harangues,* which distinguishes 
his own pleadings. But these are not all his ex- 
cellencies ; he has composed several poetical pieces 
in the manner of Catullus or of Calvus. What strokes 
of wit, what sweetness of numbers, what pointed 
satire, and what touches of the tender passion appear 
in his verses ! He sometimes, but designedly, in- 
troduces harsher notes into his smooth and flowing 
numbers, in imitation too of those admired poets. 

He read to me, the other day, some letters 
which he assured me were written by his wife : 
I fancied I was hearing Plautus or Terence in prose. 
If they are that lady's (as he positively affirms) or 
his own, which he absolutely denies, either way he 
deserves equal applause ; whether for writing so 
politely himself, or for having so highly improved 
and refined the genius of his wife, who v/as but a girl 
when he married her. 

His works are never out of my hands ; and 
whether I sit down to write any thing myself, 
or to revise what I have already written, or am 
in a disposition to amuse myself, I constantly take 
up this same author ; and, as often as I do so, 
he is still new. Let me strongly recommend him 
to the same degree of intimacy with you ; nor be it 
any prejudice to his merit that he is a contemporary 
writer. Had he flourished in some distant age, not 
only his works, but the very pictures and statues 
of him would have been passionately inquired after ; 



aginesconquireremus; eiusdem nunc honor praesentis 
et gratia quasi satietate languescet ? At hoc pravum 
malignumque est, non admirari hominem admiratione 
dignissimum, quia videre, adloqui, audire, complecti 
nee laudare tantum, verum etiam amare contingit. 


C. Plinius Cornelio Titiano Suo S. 

Est adhuc curae hominibus fides et officium, sunt, 
qui defunctorum quoque amicos agant. Titinius 
Capito ab imi)eratore nostro impetravit, ut sibi liceret 
statuam L. Silani in foro ponere. Pulchrum et magna 
laude dignum amicitia principis in hoc uti, quantum- 
que gratia valeas, aliorum honoribus experiri. Est 
omnino Capitoni in usu claros viros col ere ; mirum 
est, qua religione, quo studio imagines Brutorum, 
Cassioruui, Catonum domi, ubi potest, habeat. Idem 
clarissimi cuiusque vitam egregiis carminibus exornat. 
Scias ipsum plurimis virtutibus abundare, qui alienas 
sic amat. Redditus est L. Silano debitus honor, 
cuius immortal itati Capito prospexit pariter et 

BOOK I. xvi.-xvii 

and shall we then, from a sort of satiety, and merely 
because he is present among us, suffer liis talents to 
languish and fade away unhonoured and unadmired ? 
It is surely a very perverse and envious disposition, 
to look with indifference upon a man worthy of the 
highest approbation, for no other reason but because 
we have it in our power to see him, and to convei*se 
familiarly with him, and not only to give him our 
applause, but to receive him into our friendship. 


To Cornelius Titianus 

The social virtues have not yet quite forsaken 
the world ; and there are still those whose generous 
affection extends itself even to their departed friends. 
Titinius Capito has obtained the Emperor's per- 
mission to erect a statue in the Forum to the late L. 
Silanus. It is noble and truly laudable to use princely 
favour for purposes such as thesCj and to try the 
extent of one's interest for the gfory of others. 
It is indeed habitual to Capito to distinguish merit. 
He has placed in his house (where he is at liberty to 
do so) the statues of the Bruti, the Cassii, and the 
Catos, and it is incredible what a religious veneration 
he pays them. This is not all : there is scarce a 
name of any note or lustre that he has not celebrated 
by his excellent verses. One may be very sure a man 
must be possessed of manifold virtues himself, who thus 
admires those of others. As Silanus certainly de- 
serves the honour that is done him, so Capito has by 
this means secured to himself that immortality which 



suae. Neque enim magis decorum et insigne est 
statuam in foro populi Romani habere quam ponere. 
(^ Vale. 


C. Plinius Suetonio Tranquillo Suo S. 

ScRiBis te pertemtum somnio vereri, ne quid adversi 
in actione patiaris, rogas, ut dilationem petam et 
pauculos dies, certe proximunij excusem. Difficile est, 
sed experiar : 

Koi yap t' ovap ck A109 icTTLV. 
Refert tamen, eventura soleas an contraria somniare. 
Mihi reputanti somnium nieum istud, quod times tu, 
egregiam actionem povtendere videtur. Susceperam 
causam luni Pastoris, cum mihi quiescenti visa est 
socrus mea advoluta genibus, ne agerem, obsecrare. 
Et eram acturus adulescentuliis adhuQ/^'eram in quad- 
rui)lici iudicio, eram contra potentissimos civitatis 
atque etiam Caesaris amicos ; quae singula excutere 
1 II. I 63. 

" i.e. the Centumviri, sitting as one court. See i. 5. n. 

BOOK I. xvii.-xviii 

he has conferred on his friend ; for in my opinion he 
who erects a statue in the Roman Forum, receives 
as much glory as the person to whom it is erected. 


To Suetonius 

Your letter informs me that you are extremely 
terrified with a dream, as apprehending that it 
threatens some ill success to you in the cause you 
have undertaken to defend ; and therefore desire 
that I would get it adjourned for a few days, or at 
least to the next. This is a favour, you are sensible, 
not very easily obtained, but I will use all my 
interest for that purpose ; 

" For dreams descend from Jove." 

In the mean while it is very material for you to 
recollect whether your dreams generally represent 
things as they afterwards fall out, or quite the 
reverse. But if. I may judge of this dream that 
alarms you by one that happened to myself, it 
portends you will acquit yourself with great success. 
I had promised to be counsel for Junius Pastor ; 
when I fancied in my sleep that my mother-in-law 
came to me, and throwing herself at my feet, 
earnestly entreated me not to be concerned in the 
cause. I was at that time a very young man^. the 
case was to be argued in the fourfold Court "■ ; 
my adversaries were some of the most consider- 
able men in Rome, and favourites of Caesar ; 
any of which circumstances were sufficient, after 



mentein mihi post tarn triste soTiiniiim poterant. 
Egi tamen Aoyto-a/xevos illud : 

Eis otcovo? apicTTos afXvvadOai Trepl Trtx.Tprj'i.'- 
Mam niihi patria^ et si quid carius^ fides videbatur. 
Prospere cessit, atque adeo ilia actio mihi aures 
hominmB, ilia ianuam famae patefecit. Proinde dis- 
pice, an tu quoque sub hoc exemplo somnium istud 
in bonum vertas, aut, si tutius putas illud cautissimi 
cuiusque praeceptum : ' Quod dubites, ne feceris,* id 
ipsum rescribe. Ego aliquam stropham inveniam 
agamque causam tuam^ ut ipsam agere tu^ cum voles, 
possis. Est enim sane alia ratio tua, alia mea fuit. 
Nam indicium centumvirale differri nullo modo^ istud 
aegre quidem, sed tamen potest. Vale. 


C. Plinius Romatio FiuMo Suo S. 

MuNicEPS tu nieus et condiscipulus et ab ineunte 
aetate contubernalis, pater tuus et matri et avunculo 
meOj mihi etiam, quantum aetatis diversitas passa est, 

1 11. xii. 243. 

BOOK I. xviii.-xix 

such an inauspicious dream, to have discouraged me. 
Notwithstanding this, I engaged in the cause, i^eflect- 
ing within myself, 

" Without a sign, his swoi-d the brave man draws, 
And asks no omen, but his country's cause " : 

for I looked upon my faith towards a client to be as 
precious to me as my country, or, if that were pos- 
sible, more so. The event happened as I wished ; 
and it was that very speech which first procured me 
the favourable attention of the public, and threw open 
to me the gates of Fame. Consider then whether 
your dream, judged by this precedent, may not por- 
tend success. Or, if you think it more safe to 
pursue that maxim of the wary: "never do a thing 
of which you are in doubt " : write me word. In the 
interval I will consider of some exixedient, and 
endeavour your cause shall be heard any day you like 
best. In this respect you are in a better situation 
than I was : the court of the Centumviri where I 
was to plead admits of no adjournment ; whereas in 
that where your cause is to be heard, though it is 
not easy to procure one, still however it is possible. 



As you are my fellow-townsman, my school-fellow, 
and the companion of my earliest youth : as there 
was the strictest friendship between my mother and 
uncle, and your father; which friendship I also 
enjoyed as far as the great inequality of our ages would 



familiaris ; magnae et gi'aves causae, cur suscipere et 
augere dignitatem tuam debeam. Esse autem tibi 
centum milium censum satis indicat, quod apud nos 
decurio es. Igitur, ut te non decurione solum, verum 
etiam equite Romano perfruamur, offero tibi ad im- 
plendas equestres facultates trecenta milia nummum. 
Te memorem huius muneris amicitiae nostrae diu- 
turnitas spondet ; ego ne illud quidem admoneo, quod 
admonere deberem, nisi te scirem sponte facturum, 
ut dignitate a me data quam modestissime ut a me 
data utare. Nam sollicitius custodiendus est honor, 
in quo etiam beneficium amici tuendum est. Vale. 


C. Plinius Cornelio Tacito Sue S. 

Frequens mihi disputatio est cum quodam docto 
liomine et perito, cui nihil aeque in causis agendis, 
ut brevitas, placet. Quam ego custodiendam esse 
confiteor, si causa pevmittat ; alioqui praevaricatio est 
transire dicenda, praevaricatio etiam cursim et breviter 
attingere, quae sint inculcanda, infigenda, repetenda. 

<» The Equestrian order was constituted on a property 
valuation, and included all citizens whose fortunes amounted 
to 400,000 sesterces. The knights ranked midway between 


BOOK I. xix.-xx 

admit ; it behoves me^ foi* many strong and weighty 
reasons, to contribute all in my power to the advance- 
ment of your dignity. The rank you bear in our 
province as a local senator is a proof that you are 
possessed at least of a hundred thousand sestei'ces ; 
but that we may also have the pleasure of seeing 
you a Roman knight,* give me leave to present you 
with three hundred thousand, in order to make up 
the sum requisite to entitle you to that dignity. 
The length of our friendship leaves me no room to 
doubt you will ever be forgetful of this service. 
And I need not advise you (what if I did not know 
your disposition, I should) to enjoy this honour with 
the modesty that becomes one who received it from 
me ; for the dignity Ave possess by the good offices 
of a friend is to be guarded with peculiar attention, 
since we must thereby justify his kindness. 


To Cornelius Tacitus 

I HAVE frequent debates with a learned and judi- 
cious person of my acquaintance, who admires 
nothing so much in the eloquence of the bar as 
conciseness. I admit, where the cause will admit of 
this manner, it ought to be pursued ; but insist, that 
to omit what is material to be mentioned, or only 
slightly to touch upon those points which should be 
repeatedly inculcated, and urged home to the minds of 
the audience, is, in effect, to betray the cause one has 

the senators and the common people, but without other dis- 
tinction than the privilege of wearing a gold ring, the badge 
of their order. 

VOL. I. F 


Nam plerisque longiore tractu vis quaedara et pondus 
accedit, utque corpori ferrum sic ovatio animo non 
ictu magis quam mora imprimitur. Hie ille mecum 
auctoritatibus agit ac niihi ex Graecis orationes 
Lysiae ostentatj ex nostris Gracchorum Catonisque, 
quorum sane plurimae sunt circumcisae et breves ; 
ego Lysiae Demosthenem, Aeschinem, Hyperidem 
multosque praeterea^ Gracchis et Catoni Pollionemj 
Caesarem, Coelium, in primis Marcum Tullium op- 
pono, cuius oratio optima fertur esse quae maxima. 
Et hercule ut aliae bonae res ita bonus liber melior 
est quisque quo maior. Vides, ut statuas, signa, 
picturas, hominum denique multorumque animaliuni 
formas, arborum etiam, si modo sint decorae, nihil 
magis quam amplitude commendet. Idem orationibus 
evenitj quin etiam voluminibus ipsis auctoritatem 
quandam et pulchritudinem adicit magnitudo. 

Haec ille multaque alia, quae a me in eandem 
sententiam solent dici, ut est in disputando incom- 
prehensibilis et lubricus, ita eludit, ut contendat hos 
ipsos, quorum orationibus nitar, pauciora dixisse, 
quam ediderint. Ego contra puto. Testes sunt 
multae multorum orationes et Ciceronis pro Murena, 
pro Vareno, in quibus brevis et nuda quasi subscriptio 
quorundam criminum solis titulis indicatur. Ex his 

** Praevaricatio was the technical term for letting a prose- 
cution fail by collusion with the defence. It was later used 
also of collusion with the prosecution by defendant's counsel. 

* Pro Clutntio. 



undertaken.** In many cases a copious manner of ex- 
pression gives strength and weight to discourse, 
which frequently makes impressions upon the mind, 
as iron does upon sohd bodies, rather by prolonged 
than rapid blows. In answer t6 this he usually has 
recourse to authorities ; and produces Lysias amongst 
the Grecians, and Cato and tlie two Gracchi among 
our own countrymen, whose speeches certainly afford 
many instances of the concise style. In return, I name 
Demosthenes, Aeschines, Hj-perides, and many 
others in oj)position to Lysias ; while I confront 
Cato and the Gracchi with Caesar, Pollio, Coelius, 
and above all Cicero, whose longest oration* is 
generally esteemed the best. It is in good compo- 
sitions, as in every thing else that is valuable ; 
the more there is of them, the better. You may 
observe in statues, basso-relievos, pictures, and the 
bodies of men and animals, and even in trees, that 
nothing is more graceful than magnitude, if accom- 
panied with proportion. The same holds true in 
speeches ; and even in books, a large volume carries 
something of beauty and authority in its very 

My antagonist, who is extremely dexterous at 
evading an argument, eludes all tliis, and much more 
which I usually urge to the same purpose, by insisting 
that those very persons, upon whose works I found 
my opinion, made considerable additions to their 
orations when they published tliem. This I deny : 
and appeal to the harangues of numbei'less orators; 
particularly to those of Cicero for Murena and 
Varenus, where he has given us merely the titles of 
certain cut-and-dried counts in the indictment. 
Whence it appears, that many things which he 



apparet, ilium permulta dixisse, cum edevet^ omisisse. 
Idem pro Cluentio ait se totam causam veteri in- 
stitute solum perorasse et pro Cornelio quatriduo 
egisse, ne dubitare possimus, quae per plures dies, 
ut necesse erat, latius dixerit, postea recisa ac 
purgata in unum librum grandem quidem, unum 
tamen coartasse. ' ' 

At aliud est actio bona, aliud oratio. Scio nonnullis 
ita videri, sed ego (forsitan fallar) persuasum habeo 
posse fieri, ut sit actio bona, quat; non sit bona oratio, 
non posse non l>onam actionem esse, quae sit bona 
oratio. Est enim oratio actionis exemplar, et quasi 
apyirvTTQv. Ideo in optima quaque mille figuras 
extemporales invenimus, in lis etiam, quas tantum 
editas scimus, ut in Verrem : ' Artificem queni ? quem- 
nam ? recte admones ; Polyclitum esse dicebant.' 
Sequitur ergo, ut actio sit absoLu-tissima, quae maxime 
orationis similitudinem expresserit, si modo iustum 
et debitum tempus accipiat ; quod si negetur, nulla 

" Prosecuted for treason 05 B.C. Cicero's two speeches for 
him are lost, except a few fragments. 



enlarged upon at the time he delivered those 
orations, were retrenched when he gave them to the 
public. The same orator informs us, that, agreeably 
to the ancient custom (which allowed only one 
counsel on a side), Cluentius had no other advocate 
but himself; and tells us farther, that he employed 
four whole days in defence of Cornelius * ; leaving us 
in no doubt that those orations which, when 
delivered at their full length, had necessarily taken 
up several days, were greatly pruned and abridged 
when he afterwai-ds comprised tliem in a single 
volume, though I must confess, indeed, a large one. 

But, it is objected, there is a wide difference between 
a good sjmken and a good writteii oration. This opinion 
I acknowledge, has had some favourers; nevertheless 
I am persuaded (though I may perhaps be mistaken) 
that it is possible a speech may be well received by 
the audience, which has not merit enough to recom- 
mend it to the reader ; but an oration which is good 
on paper cannot be bad when delivered ; for the 
oration on paper is, in truth, the original and model 
of the speech that is to be pronounced. It is for 
this reason we find in many of the best orations 
extant numberless extempore figures of rhetoric ; and 
this even where we are sure they were never spoken 
at all : as for instance in the following passage from 
the oration against Verres, — " A certain craftsman — 
Avhat's his name } Oh, I'm obliged to you for helping 
me to it : yes, 'twas Polyclitus." It follows then, 
that the nearer approach a pleader makes to a 
real oi'ation, the more perfect will be his plea ; 
always supposing, however, that he has the neces- 
sary indulgence in point of time ; for if he be 
abridged of that, no imputation can justly be fixed 



oratoris, maxima iiidicis culpa est. Adsunt huic 

opinioni iiieae leges^ quae longissima tempora lai*- 

giuntur iicc brevitatcm dicentibuSj scd copiam, hoc 

est diligentiam, suadent ; quain praeStare nisi in 

angustissimis causis non potest brevitas. Adiciam^ 

quod me docuit usus, magister egregius. Frequenter 

egi, frequenter iudicavi, frequenter in consilio fui. 

Aliud alios movet, ac plerumque parvae res maximas 

trahunt. Varia sunt hominum iudicia, variae volun- 

tates. Inde, qui eandem causam simul audierunt^ 

saepe diversum, interdum idem^ sed ex diversis animi 

motibus sentiunt. Praeterea suae quisque inventioni 

favet et quasi fortissimum complectitur, cum ab alio 

dictum est, quod ipse praevidit. Omnibus ergo 

dandum est aliquid, quod teneant, quod agnoscant. 

Dixit aliquando mihi ReguluSj cum simul adessemus : 

' Tu omnia, quae sunt in causa, putas exsequenda, 

ego iugulum statim video, hunc premo.' Premit 

sane, quod elegit, sed in eligendo frequenter errat 


upon the advocate^ though certainly a very great 
one is chargeable upon the judge. The sense of the 
laws is, I am sure, on my side, which are by no means 
chary of the orator's time ; it is not brevity, but 
fulness, in other words, attention to everything 
material, which they recommend. And how is it 
possible for an advocate to acquit himself of that 
duty, unless in the most simple causes, if he affects 
to be concise ? Let me add what experience, that 
superlative master, has taught me ; it has frequently 
been my province to act as an advocate and as juror, 
I have often sat as an assessor, and I have ever 
found that different minds are to be influenced by 
different applications ; and that the slightest circum- 
stances often entail the most important consequences. 
There is variety in the dispositions and under- 
standings of men, so that they seldom agree in their 
opinions about any one point in debate before them ; 
or, if they do, it is generally from the movement of 
diff'erent passions. Besides, every man naturally 
favours his own discoveries, and when he hears an 
argument made use of which had before occurred to 
himself, will certainly embrace it as extremely 
convincing ; the orator therefore should so adapt 
himself to his audience as to throw out something to 
every one of them, that he may receive and approve 
as his own peculiar thought. 

Once when Regulus and I were counsel together 
in a cause, he said to me, " you think it necessary to 
insist upon every point : whereas I mark at once 
the throat, and closely press that." ('Tis true 
he tenaciously holds whatever pai't he has once 
fixed upon ; but the misfortune is, he is extremely 
apt to mistake the right place.) I answered, it 



Respond! posse fieri, ut genu esset aut tibia aut 
talus, ubi ille iugulum putaret. 'At ego/ inquam, 
'qui iugulum perspicere non possum, omnia pertempto, 
omnia experior, Travra denique XiOov klvw.' Utque in 
cultura agri non vineas tantum, veruin etiam arbusta, 
nee arbusta tantum, verum etiam camjios euro ct 
exerceo, utque in ipsis campis non far aut siligineni 
solam, sod hordeum, fabam ceteraque legumina sero, 
sic in actione plura quasi semina latius spargo, ut, 
quae provenerint, colligam. Neque enim minus in- 
perspicua, incerta, fellaciaque sunt iudicum ingenia 
quam tempestatum terrarumque. Nee me praeterit 
summum oratorem Periclem sic a comico Eupolide 
laudari : 

irpos oe y avrov tw Tct^et 

Ourojs iKyjXei, Koi /xdvos twv pijropuiv 

To K€VTpov iyKaTcXenre rot? d*cpo(o/xei/ots.^ k 

Verum huic ipsi Pericli nee ilia Tret^w nee illud e/ci^Aci 
brevitate vel velocitate vel utraque (differunt enim) 
sine facultate summa contigisset. Nam delectare, 
persuadere copiam dicendi spatiumque desidei'at ; 
relinquere vero aculeum in audientium animis is 
demum potest, qui non pungit, sed infigit. Adde, 
quae de eodem Pericle comicus alter : 

HcrrpaTTT, i/3p6i'Ta, ^vveKVKU t^v 'EAXaSa.^ 

^ Eupolis ATJfioi/r. 94. ^ Aristoph. Acham. 531. 

72 . ..,.//- 


might possibly happen that what he took for 
the throat was in reality the knee, shin, or heel. 
" As for me," said I, " who cannot descry this throat, 
I attack every j^art, and push at every opening ; 
in short, I leave no stone unturned." As in agri- 
culture, it is not my vineyards, or my woods, alone, 
but my fields also that I cultivate ; and as I do 
not sow those fields with only spelt and winter- 
wheat, but employ also barley, beans, and the other 
leguminous plants ; so in my pleadings at the bar, I 
spread at large a variety of matter like so many 
different seeds, in order to reap from thence whatever 
may happen to sprout ; for the disposition of your 
jurors is as precarious and as little to be ascertained, 
as that of soils and seasons. I remember the comic 
writer Eupolis mentions in praise of that excellent 
orator Pericles, that 

"He spake, and straight 
Upon his lips Persuasion sate ; 
He only eloquence could find 
That charmed, yet left a sting behind." 
But could Pericles, without the richest gifts of 
expression, and merely by force of the concise or the 
rapid style, or both together (for they are different), 
have exerted that persuasion and that charm of which 
the poet here speaks .'' To delight and to persuade 
requires time, and a great compass of language ; 
while to leave a sling in the minds of his audience 
is an effect not to be achieved by an oi'ator who 
slightly pushes, but by him, and him only, who 
thrusts home and deep. Again, another comic poet, 
speaking of the same oratoi-, says : 

"Lightnings and thunders from his mouth he hurled. 
And made a chaos of the Grecian world." 



Non enim amputata oratio et abscisa, sed lata et 
magnifica et excelsa tonat, fulgurat, omnia denique 
perturbat ac miscet. 

' Optimus tamen modus est ' ; quis negat ? sed 
non minus non servat modiim^ qui infra rem 
quam qui supra, qui adstrictius quam qui efFusius 
dicit. Itaque audis frequenter ut illud : ' immodice 
et redundanter' ita hoc: ' ieiune et infirme.' 
Alius excessisse materiam, alius dicitur non implesse. 
Aeque uterque, sed ille imbecillitate, hie viribus 
peccat ; quod certe, etsi non liniatioris, maioris 
tamen ingenii vitium est. Nee vero, cum haec dice, 
ilium Homericum d/xer/iocTr^ ^ probo^ sed hunc : 

Kai tirea vi^dSecrcrtv ioLKora ^€i[X€pLr](Tiv ^ 

non quia non et ille mihi validissime placeat Travpa 
fjiiv, dXXa iJ.dXa Xtyew?,^ si tamen detur electio, illam 
orationem similem nivibus hibernis, id est crebram 
et adsiduam et largam, postremo divinam et caelestem, 

' At est gratior multis actio brevis.' Est ; sed in- 
ertibus, quorum delicias desidiamque quasi indicium 

1 11. ii. 212. « n. iii. 222. » 11. iii. 214. 



For it is not concise and curtailed^ it is copious, 
majestic, and sublime oratory, that with blaze and 
thunder perturbs and confounds the universe. 

The just mean, we all allow, is best ; but he equally 
deviates from that mean who falls short of it, as 
he who goes beyond it ; he who confines himself in 
too narrow a compass, as he who launches out with 
too great latitude of speech. Hence it is as common 
to hear our orators condemned for being too barren, 
as too luxuriant ; for not reaching, as well as for 
overflowing the bounds of their subject. Both are 
equally in fault ; but with this difference however, 
that in the one the fault arises from weakness, in 
the other from strength ; an error which if it be not 
a sign of a more correct, yet it is certainly of a more 
exalted genius. When I say this, I would not be 
understood to approve that " measureless talker " 
mentioned in Homer, but that other described in the 
following lines : 

" Frequent and soft as falls the winter snow. 
Thus from his lips the copious periods flow." 

Not but I extremely admire him too, of whom the 
poet says: 

" Few were his words, but wonderfully clear." 

Yet if I were to choose, I should clearly give the 
preference to the style resembling winter snow, that 
is, to the full, fluent and diffusive ; in short, to the 
heavenly and divine. 

But ('tis urged) the short harangue is most gener- 
ally admired. It is so, I confess : but by whom ? 
By the indolent ; whose lazy caprices it would 
surely be the highest absurdity to take as a serious 



respicere ridiculum est. Nam, si hos in consilio 
habeas, non solum satius est brevitcr dicere, sed 
omnino non dicere. 

Haec est adhuc sententia mea, quani mutabo, si 
disscnseris tu ; sed plane, cur dissentias, explices 
rogo. Quamvis enim cedere auctoritati tuae debeam, 
rectius tamen arbitror in tanta re ratione quam 
auctoritate superari. Proinde, si non errare videor, 
id ipsum quam voles brevi epistula, sed tamen scribe 
(confirmaveris enim indicium meum) ; si erravero, 
longissimam para. Num corrupi te, qui tibi, si mihi 
accederes, brevis epistulae necessitatem, si dissentires, 
longissimae imposui ? Vale. 


C. Pi.iNius Plinio Paterno Suo S. 

Ut animi tui iudicio sic oculorum plurimum tribuo, 

non quia multum, ne tibi placeas, sed quia tantum 

quantum ego sapis ; quamquam hoc quoque multum 

est. Omissis iocis credo decentes esse servos, qui 

BOOK I. xx.-xxi 

verdict. Were you to consult persons of this 
cast they would tell you, not only that it 
is best to say little, but that it is best to say 

Thus, my friend, I have laid before you my 
sentiments upon this subject, which I shall abandon, 
if I find they are not agreeable to yours. But 
if you sliould dissent from me, I beg you would 
communicate to me your reasons. For though I 
ought to yield in this case to your autliority, yet 
in a point of such consequence, I hold it more 
correct to receive my conviction from the force of 
argument than authority. If you should be of my 
opinion in this matter, a line or two from you in 
return, intimating your concurrence, will be sufficient 
to confirm me in tlie justness of my sentiments. On 
the contrary, if you think me mistaken, I beg you 
would give me your objections at large. Yet has it 
not, think you, something of the air of bribery, to 
ask only a short letter if you agree with me ; but 
enjoin you the trouble of a very long one, if you are 
of a contrary opinion. Farewell. 


To Patkrnus 

As I rely \ei-y much upon the strength of your 
judgement, so I do upon the goodness of your eyes : 
not because I think your discernment very great 
(for 1 would not make you vain), but because I think 
it as good as mine : which, it must be owned, is 
saying a great deal in its favour. Jesting apart, I 
like very well the appearance of the slaves which 



sunt empti mihi ex consilio tuo. Superest, ut frugi 
sint, quod de venalibus melius auribus quam oculis 
iudicatur. Vale. 

C. Plinius Catilio Severo Suo S. 

Diu iam in urbe haereo et quidem attonitus. 
Perturbat me longa et pertinax valetu3o Titi 
AristoniSj quem singulariter et miror et diligo. 
Nihil est enim illo gravius, sanctius, doctius ; ut 
mihi non unus homO;, sed litterae ipsae omnesque 
bonae artes in uno homine summum periculum 
adire videantur. Quam peritus ille et privati iuris 
et publici! quantum rerum, quantum exemplo- 
i-um, quantum antiquitatis tenet ! Nihil est, quod 
doceri ^ velis, quod ille docere non possit ; mihi 
certe, quotiens aliquid abditum quaero, ille thesau- 
rus est. Iam quanta sermonibus eius fides^ quanta 
auctoritaSj quam pressa et decora cunctatio ! quid 
est, quod non statim sciat ? Et tamen plerumque 
haesitatj dubitat diversitate rationum, quas acri 
magnoque iudicio ab origine eausisque pi-imis xe- 
petit, discernitj expendit. Ad haec quam parous^ 
victu, quam modicus in cultu ! Soleo ipsum cu- 

> doceri RFp, Olio, MuelL, discere M VDa, Bip. K. 

BOOK I. xxi.-xxii 

were purchased for nie by your recommendation ; all 
that I want farther, is to be satisfied of their 
honesty ; a point on which, where slaves are in 
question, one's ears are better judges than one's 
eyes. Farewell. 


To Catilius Severus 

I AM at present detained in Rome (and have been 
so a considerable time) under the most alarming ap- 
prehensions. Titius Aristo, whom I uncommonly love 
and esteem, is fallen into a lingering and obstinate 
illness, which deeply affects me. Virtue, know- 
ledge, and good sense shine out with so superior a 
lustre in this excellent man that learning herself 
and every valuable endowment seems involved in 
the danger of his single person. How consummate 
is his knowledge both in the political and civil laws 
of his country ! How thoroughly conversant is he 
in history, precedents, antiquity ! There is no article, 
in short, you would wish to be informed of, in which 
he cannot enlighten you. As for my own part, 
whenever I would acquaint myself with any abstruse 
point, I have recourse to him, as to a mine of know- 
ledge. \ What an amiable sincerity, what a noble 
dignity is there in his conversation ! How graceful 
his deliberate concision of utterance ! Though he 
conceives at once every point in debate, yet his 
reserve in judgement, deliberately weighing eveiy 
opposite reason that is offered, traces it, with a 
most judicious penetration, from its source through 
all its remotest consequences. His diet is frugal, 



biculum eiiis ipsumque lectum ut imaginem quandam 
priscae frugal itatis aspicere. Ornat haec magnitudo 
animi, quae nihil ad ostentationem, omnia ad con- 
scientiam refert recteque facti non ex populi sermone 
mercedem^ sed ex facto petit. In summa non facile 
quemquam ex istis, qui sapientiae studium habitu 
corporis praeferunt, huic viro comparabis. Non 
quidem gymnasia sectatur aut porticus nee dispu- 
tationibus longis aliorum otium suumque delectat, 
sed in toga negotiisque versatur^ niultos advocatione, 
plures consilio iuvat. Nemini tamen istorum casti- 
tate, pietate, iustitia^ fortitudine etiam primo loco 

Mirareris, ^ mteresseSj qua patientia banc ipsam 
valetudinem toleret, ut dolori resistat, ut sitim 
differat, ut incredibilem febrium ardorem immotus 
opertusque transmittat. Nuper me paucosque me- 
cum, quos maxime diligit^, advocavit rogavitque, 
ut medicos consuleremus de summa valetudinis, ut, 
si esset insuperabilis, sponte exiret e vita, si tantum 
difficilis et longa^ resisteret maneretque ; dandum 
enim precibus uxoris, dandum filiae lacrimis, dandum 
etiam nobis amicis, ne spes nostras, si modo non 
essent inanes, voluntaria morte desereret. Id ego 
arduum in primis et praecipua laude dignum puto. 

BOOK I. xxii 

his dress plain ; and his very chamber and bed, 
whenever I view^ them, present me with a kind 
of picture of ancient simplicity. To all this, his 
illustrious mind reflects the noblest ornament ; he 
places no part of his happiness in ostentation, but 
refers the whole of it to conscience ; and seeks the 
reward of a virtuous action, not in the applauses of 
the world, but in the action itself In short, 
you will not easily find his equal even among the 
tribe who claim the title, by assuming the guise, of 
philosophers. He frequents not the places of public 
resort, nor idly amuses himself and others with 
endless controversies. His talents are exerted as 
a pleader in the scenes of civil and active life. 
Many has he assisted as an advocate, still more as 
an adviser ; and with all this, in the practice of 
temperance, piety, justice, and fortitude he has no 
superior among your professed moralists. 

It would astonish you to witness with what patience 
he bears this illness ; how he struggles with pain, 
endures thirst, and quietly submits to lie covered up, 
though burning with fever. He lately called me and 
a few more of his particular friends^ to his bed-side and 
begged we would ask his physicians what turn they 
apprehended his distemper would take ; that if they 
pronounced it incurable, he might voluntarily put 
an end to his life ; but if there were hopes of a 
recovery, however tedious and difficult, he might 
hold out with patience ; for so much, he thought, 
was due to the entreaties of his wife, the tears of his 
daughter, and also to the affection of his friends, as 
not to betray our hopes, if in truth they were not en- 
tirely desperate, by committing suicide. A resolution 
this, in my estimation, truly arduous, and worthy of the 


Nam impetu quodam et instinctu procurrere ad 
mortem commune cum multis, deliberare vero et 
causas eius expendere, utque suaserit ratio, vitae 
mortisque consilium vel suscipere vel ponere ingentis 
est animi. Et medici quidem secunda nobis poUi- 
centur ; superest, ut promissis deus adnuat tandem- 
que me hae sollicitudine exsolvat ; qua liberatus 
Laurentinum meum, hoc est libellos et pugillares 
studiosumque otium, repetam. Nunc enim nihil 
legere, nihil scribere aut adsidenti vacat aut anxio 
libet. Habes, quid timeam, quid optem, quid etiam 
in posterum destinem ; tu quid egeris^ quid agas, 
quid velis agere, invicem nobis, sed laetioribus 
epistuhs scribe. Erit confusioni meae non mediocre 
solatium, si tu nihil quereris. Vale. 


C. Plinius Pompeio Falconi Sue S. 

CoNSULis, an existimem te in tribunatu causas 
agere debere. Plurimura refert, quid esse tribuna- 
tum putes, inanem umbram et sine honore nomen 
an potestatem sacrosanctam, et quam in ordinem 

BOOK I. xxii.-xxiii 

highest applause. Instances are frequent enough in 
the world of rushing into the arras of death without 
reflection, and by a sort of blind impulse : but calmly 
and deliberately to weigh the motives for life or 
death, and to be determined in our choice as reason 
counsels, is the mark of an uncommon and great 
mind. We have liad the satisfaction of the opinion 
of his physicians in his favour; and may heaven 
confirm their assurances, and free me from this 
restless anxiety ! If that should happily be the 
event, I shall immediately return to my favourite 
Laurentinum, or, in other words, to my books and 
studious leisure. At present, so much of my time 
and thoughts is employed in attendance upon my 
friend, and in my apprehensions for him, that I have 
neither leisure nor inclination to read or write any- 
thing. Thus have I informed you of my fears, my 
hopes, and my intentions. Communicate to me, in 
your turn, but in a gayer style, an account not only 
of what you are and have been doing, but even of 
your future designs. It will be a very sensible con- 
solation to me in this perplexity of mind, to be assured 
that yours is easy. Farewell. 



You desire my opinion whether you can with 
propriety act as an advocate during your Tribunate ? 
But before I determine that question, I must know 
what are your sentiments of that office ; whether 
you look upon it as a mere shadow of honour, and 
an empty title, or as a sacred and inviolable function, 

o 2 


cogi ut a nullo ita nc a se quidem deceat. Ipse 
cum tribunus essem, erraverim fortasse, qui me 
esse aliquid putavi, sed, tamquam essem, ;abstinui 
causis agendis ; priinum, quod deforme arbitrabar, 
cui adsurgere, cui loco cedere omnes oporteret, 
liunc omnibus sedentibus stare, et, qui iubere posset 
tacere quemcumque, huic silentium clepsydra indici, 
et, quem interfari nefas esset, hunc etiam convicia 
audire et, si inulta pateretur, inertem, si ulcisceretur, 
insolentem videri.-._Erat hie quoque aestus ante 
oculos, si forte me appellasset vel ille, cui adessem, 
vel ille, quem contra, intercederem et auxilium 
ferrem an quiescerem sileremque et qiiasi_eiurato 
magistratu privatum ipse me facerem. His rationibus 
motus malui me tribunum omnibus exhibere quam 
paucis advocatum. Sed tu (iterum dicam) plurimum 
interest quid esse tribunatum putes, quam personam 
tibi imponas ; quae sapienti viro ita aptanda est, 
ut perferatur. Vale. 

I « In ordinem cogi, lit. "to reduce to the ranks." 


BOOK I. xxiii 

which as no one may set at nought,* so neither ouglit 
the person himself who is invested with it ? When 
I was myself in that post (possibly I might be 
mistaken in supposing I was become of any impor- 
tance, however upon the supposition that I really 
was) I entirely quitted the bar. I thought it un- 
becoming a magistrate, who, upon all occasions, had 
a right of precedency, and in whose presence every 
body is obliged to rise, to be seen standing, while all 
about him were seated ; that he who has authority 
to impose silence on any man, should himself be 
silent when the clock directs : ^ that he whom it is 
held impious folnterrupt, should be exposed to the 
scurrilous liberties of bar orators ; which to chas- 
tize, would be thought a sort of insolence of office,^ 
and yet it would be weakness to overlook. 41^ 
considered farther, the great difficulty I should be 
under, if either party to a suit should happen to appeal 
to me as Tribune, whether to interpose my authority 
to protect him, or as it were resign my office, and 
reduce myself to the status of a private citizen by 
preserving a passive silence. For these reasons I rather 
chose to appear as the Tribune of all, than the advo- 
cate of a few. But with respect to you (I repeat it 
again), the whole depends upon what your sentiments 
are of this office, and in what part you would choose 
to appear ; remembering always that a wise man will 
take upon himself such only as he is capable of 
sustaining throughout the play. 

* Alhiding to the time-limit imposed on advocates' speeches. 
Of. ii. 11. n. (p. 128). 



C. Plinius Baebio Hispano Suo S. 

Tranquii.lus, contubernalis meus, vult emere agel- 
lum, quern venditare amicus tuus dicitur. Rogo 
cures, quanti aequum est, emat ; ita enim delectabit 
emisse. Nam mala emptio semper ingrata est eo 
maxime, quod exprobrare stultitiam domino videtur. 
In lioc autem agello, si modo adriserit pretium, 
Tranquilli mei stomachum multa sollicitant, vicinitas 
ui'bi^ opportunitas viae, mediocritas villae, modus 
ruris, (qui avocet magis quam distringat. ScTiola- 
sticis porro dominis, ut hie est, sufficit abundc 
tantum soli, ut relevare caput, reficere oculos, 
reptare per limitem unamque semitam terere omnes- 
que viticulas suas nosse et numerare arbusculas 
possint. Haec tibi exposui, quo magis scires, quan- 
tum ille esset mihi, ego tibi debiturus, si praediolum 
istud, quod commendatur his dotibus, tarn salubriter 
emerit, ut poenitentiae locum non relinquat. Vale. 


BOOK I. xxiv 


To Baebius 

Mv friend Tranquillus has an inclination to 
purchase a small farm, of which, as I am informed, 
an acquaintance of yours intends to dispose. I beg 
you would endeavour he may have it upon reasonable 
terms : a circumstance which will add to his satisfac- 
tion in obtaining it. A dear bargain is always 
disagreeable, particularly as it is a reflection upon 
the purchaser's judgement. There are several cir- 
cumstances attending this little farm, which (sup- 
posing my friend had no objection to the price) are 
appetising to his palate : the convenient distance 
f'-om Rome, the goodness of the roads, the small- 
ness of the building, and the very few acres of 
land around it, which is just enough to amuse but 
not employ him. To a man of the studious turn that 
Tranquillus is, it is sufficient if he has but a small 
spot to relieve the mind and divert the eye, where he 
may saunter round his grounds, ti-averse his single 
walk, grow familiar with his two or three vines, and 
count his little plantations. I mention these par- 
ticulars, to let you see how much he will be obliged 
to me, as I shall to you, if you can help him to the 
purchase of this little box, so agreeable to his taste, 
upon terms of which he shall have no occasion to 
repent. Farewell. 




C. PuNius Romano Suo S. 

Post aliquot annos insigne atque etiam memo- 
rabile populi Romani oculis spectaculum exhibuit 
publicum funus Vergini Rufi, maximi et clarissimi 
civis, perinde felicis. Triginta annis gloriae suae 
supervixit ; legit sci'ipta de se carmina, legit historias 
et posteritati suae interfuit. Perfunctus est tertio 
consulatu, ut summum fastigium privati hominis 
impleretj cum principis noluisset. Caesares, quibus 
suspectus atque etiam invisus virtutibus fuerat, 
evasit, reliquit incolumem optimum atque amicis- 
simum^ tamquam ad hunc ipsum honorem publici 
funeris reservatus. Annum tertium et octogensimum 
excessit in altissima tranquillitate, pari veneratione. 
Usus est firma valetudine, nisi quod solebant ei 
manus tremere, citra dolorem tamen. Aditus 
tantum mortis durior longiorque, sed hie ipse 
laudabilis. Nam cum vocem praepararet acturus in 

" I.e. Nerva. 



Rome lias not for many years beheld so striking and 
memorable a spectacle as was lately exhibited in the 
public funeral of Virginius Rufus, one of her great- 
est citizens, and no less fortunate than illustrious. 
For he lived thirty years after achieving fame, he 
read his actions in the pages of poets and historians, 
and thus made one among his survivors. He was 
thrice raised to the dignity of Consul, that he who 
refused to be the first of princes, might at least be 
the highest of subjects. He escaped the resent- 
ment of those emperors to whom his virtues had 
rendered him suspect, and even odious, and left the 
best, the most amicable of princes « firmly seated on 
the throne, as if providence had purposely preserved 
liim to receive the honour of this public funeral. 
He arrived, in full tranquillity and universally 
revered, to the eighty-fourth year of his age, still 
enjoying robust health, excepting only a paraljrtic 
disorder in his hands, which however was attended 
with no pain. His passage to death, alone, was severe 
and tedious ; but even this was matter for praise. 
As he was rehearsing his speech of thanks to the 
Emperor, who had raised him to the consulship, a 



consulatu principi gratias, liber, quern forte acceperat 
grandiorem, et seni et stanti ipso pondere elapsus 
est. Hunc dum consequitur coUigitque, per leve et 
lubricum pavimentum fallente vestigio cccidit 
coxamque fregit, quae parum apte collocata 
reluctante aetate male coiit. 

Huius viri exequiae magnum ornamentum principi, 
magnum saeculo, magnum etiara foro et rostris attu- 
lerunt. Laudatus est a consule Cornelio Tacito ; nam 
hie supremus felicitati eius cumulus accessit, laudator 
eloquentissimus. Et ille quidem plenus annis abiit, 
plenus honoril)iis, illis etiam, quos recusavit ; nobis 
tamen quaerendus ac desidevandus est ut exemplar 
aevi prioris, mihi vero praecipue, qui ilium non 
solum publice, sed etiam privatim quantum admirabar 
tantuni diligebam ; primum quod utrique eadem 
regio, municipia finitima^ agri etiam possessionesque 
coniunctae, praeterea quod ille tutor mihi relictus 
adfectum parentis exhibuit. Sic candidatum me 
sufFragio ornavit, sic ad omnes honores meos ex 
secessibus accucurrit, cum iam pridem eiusmodi 
officiis renuntiasset, sic illo die, quo sacerdotes solent 
nominare, quos dignissimos sacerdotio indicant, me 
semper nominabat. Quin etiam in hac novissima 

f ; ' 

I* i.e. " members of one of the four great priestly colleges, 
poviifices, augurcs, quindecimviri aacris Jaciuudis, atpUmxAri 
epiUonum.^' (Merrill.) 

i 98 


volume, which chanced to be inconveniently large 
for him to liold, escaped by its sheer weigiit the 
grasp that age and his upright posture doubly 
enfeebled. In hastily endeavouring to recover it, he 
missed liis footing on the smootli slippery pavement ; 
fell down, and broke his hip-bone ; which fracture, 
as it was unskilfully set at first, and having besides 
the infirmities of age to contend with, could never 
be bi'oiight to unite again. 

The funeral obsequies paid to the memory of 
this great man have done honour to the Empeior, 
to the present age, and also to Eloquence her- 
self. The consul Cornelius Tacitus pronounced his 
funeral oration : for the series of his felicities was 
crowned by the applause of the most eloquent 
of orators." He died full of years and of glory, 
as illustrious by the honours he refused, as by 
those he accepted. Still, however, he will be 
missed andjamented by us, as the bright model of 
a Lygone age ; especially by myself, who not only 
admired him as a patriot, but loved him as a friend. 
We were not only natives of the same province, and 
of neighbouring towns, but our estates were con- 
tiguous. Besides, lie was also left guardian to me, and 
treated me with the affection of a parent. Whenever 
I offered myself a candidate for any employment, he 
■constantly honoured me with his support; though he 
had long since renounced friendly services of this 
nature, he would always hasten from his rural retire- 
ment to attend my formal entry upon an office. At 
the time when it is customary for the priests'* to 
nominate such as they judge worthy to be received 
into their sacred office, he constantly proposed me. 
Even in his last sickness, being apprehensive he might 



valetudine veritus, ne forte inter quinqueviros 
crearetur, qui minuendis publicis sumptibus iudicio 
senatus constituebantur, cum illi tot amici senes 
consularesque supcressent^ me huius aetatis, per quern 
excusaretur, elegit his quldem verl)is : ' Etiam si 
(ilium haberem, tibi mandarem.' 

Quibus ex causis necesse est tamquam immaturam 
mortem eius in sinu tuo defleam, si tamen fas est aut 
flere aut omnino mortem vocare^ qua tanti viri mor- 
talitas magis finita quam vita est. Vivit enim vivetque 
semper atque etiam latius in memoria hominum et 
sermone versabitur, postquam ab oculis recessit. 

Volui tibi multa alia scribere, sed totus animus in 
hac una contemplatione defixus est. Verginium 
cogito, Verginium video, Verginium iam vanis 
imaginibus, recentibus tamen, audio, adloquor, teneo ; 
cui fortasse cives aliquos virtutibus pares et habemus 
et habebimus, gloria neminem. Vale. 


C. PuNius Paulino Suo S. 

Irascor, nee liquet mihi, an debeam, sed irascor. 
Scis, quam sit amor iniquus interdum, impotens 

BOOK II. i.-ii 

be named one of the five commissioners appointed 
by the senate to reduce the public expenses, he 
fixed upon me, young as I am, to carry his excuses, 
in preference to so many other friends of superior 
age and. dignity ; and in a very obliging manner 
assured me, that had he a son of his own, he would 
nevertheless have employed me in that office. 

Thus I am constrained to lament his death, as if 
it were immature, and pour out the fullness of my 
grief in the bosom of my friend ; if indeed it be 
permissible to grieve at all upon this occasion, or to 
call that event death, which to such a man, is rather 
to be looked upon as the period of his mortality 
than of his life. For he lives, and will continue to 
live for ever ; and his fame will be spread farther 
by the recollection and the tongues of men now 
that he is removed from their sight. 

I had many other things to write to you, but my 
mind is so entirely taken up with this subject, that I 
cannot call it off to any other. Virginius is constantly 
in my thoughts ; the vain but lively impressions of 
him are continually before my eyes, and I am for 
ever fondly imagining that I hear him, converse with 
him, and embrace him. There are, perhaps, and 
possibly hereafter will be, some few Romans who 
may rival him in virtue ; but not one, I am persuaded, 
that will ever equal him in glory. Farewell. 


To Paulinus 

Whether I have reason for my rage is not quite 
so clear; however, wondrous angry I am. But 
love, you know, will sometimes be irrational ; as it is 



saepe, ^i/cpamos semper. Haec tamen causa magna 
est, nescio an iusta ; sed ego, tamquam non minus 
iusta quam magna sit, graviter irascor, quod a te 
tarn diu litterae nuUae. Exorare me potes uno modo, 
si nunc saltem plurimas et longissimas miseris. Haec 
mihi sola excusatio vera, ceterae falsae videbuntur. 
Non sum auditurus : ' Non eram Romae ' vel : 
* Occupatior eram ' ; illud enim nee di sinant, ut 
'infirmior.' Ipse ad villam partim studiis, partim 
desidia fruor, quorum utrumque ex otio nascitur. 


C. Plinius Nepoti Sue S. 

Magna Isaeum fama praeeesserat, maior inventus 
est. Summa est facultas, copia, ubertas ; dicit semper 
ex tempore, sed tamquam diu scripserit. Sermo 
Graecus, immo Atticus, praefationes tersae, graciles, 
dulces, graves interdum et erectae. Poscit contro- 
versias plures, electionem auditoribus permittit, saepe 
etiam partes, surgit, amicitur, incipit ; statim omnia 
ac paene pariter ad manum, sensus reconditi occursant, 

" Juvenal mentions this rhetorician as a powerful speaker 
(iii. 74). 


BOOK II. ii.-iii 

often ungovernable, and ever jealous. The occasion 
of this my formidable wrath is great, and I think, 
just : however, taking it for granted that there is as 
much truth, as weight in it, I am most vehemently 
enraged at your long silence. Would you soften 
my resentment .'' Let your letters for the future be 
very frequent, and very long ; I shall excuse you 
upon no other terms ; and as absence from Rome, or 
press of business, is a plea I can by no means admit ; 
so that of ill health, the Gods, I hope, will not suffer 
you to allege. As for myself, I am enjoying at my 
villa the alternate pleasures of study and indolence; 
those happy privileges of retired leisure ! Farewell. 


To Nepos 

We had received very advantageous accounts of 
Isaeus," before his arrival here ; but he is superior to 
all that was reported of him. He possesses the 
utmost facility and copiousness of expression, and 
though always extempore his discourses have all the 
propriety and elegance of the most studied and 
elaborate composition. He employs the Greek 
language, or rather the genuine Attic. His pre- 
fatory remarks are terse, easy, and harmonious ; 
and, when occasion requires, serious and majestic. 
He proposes several questions for discussion, gives 
his audience liberty to call for any they please, and 
sometimes even to name what side of it he shall 
take ; when immediately he rises up, assumes his 
gown, aitd begins. He handles every point with 
almost equal readiness ; profound ideas occur to him 


VOL. I. H 

verba, sed qualia ! quaesita et exculta. Multa lectio 
in subitis^ multa scriptio elucet. Prooemiatur apte, 
narrat aperte^ pugnat acriter, colligit fortiter, ornat 
excelse, postremo docet, delectat, adficit, quid 
maxim e, dubites ; crebra ivOvfju^iMara, crebri syllogismi^ 
circumscripti et efifecti, quod stilo quoque asequi 
magnum est, incredibilis memoria, repetit altius, 
quae dixit ex tempore, ne verbo quidem labitur. 
Ad tantam c^iv studio et exercitatione pervenit ; 
nam diebus et noctibus nihil aliud agit, nihil audit, 
nihil loquitur. 

Annum sexagensimum excessit etadhuc scholasticus 
tantum est ; quo genere hominum nihil aut simpli- 
cius aut sincerius aut melius. Nos enim, qui in foro 
verisque litibus terimur, multum malitiae, quamvis 
nolimus, addiseimus; schola et auditorium et ficta 
causa res inermis, innoxia est nee minus felix, seni- 
bus praesertim. Nam quid in senectute felicius quam 
quod dulcissimum est in iuventa ? Quare ego Isaeum 

non disertissimum tantum, verum etiam beatissimum 


as he proceeds ; his language — but how admirable 
that is ! wSo choice, so refined ! These unprepared 
discourses plainly discover he has been very con- 
versant in the best authors, and much accustomed 
to compose himself. He opens his subject witli 
great propriety ; his narration is clear ; his con- 
troversy ingenious, his logic forcible and his rhe- 
toric sublime. In a word, he at once instructs, 
entertains, and atfects you, and each in so high a 
degree, that you are at a loss to determine in Avhich 
"of those talents he most excels. He abounds u\ 
''enthymemes and syllogisms ( the latter of a formal 
exactness, not very easy to attain even in writing. 
His memory is so extraordinary, that he can recollect 
what he has before spoke extempore, word for word. 
This wonderful habitude he has acquired by great 
application and practice ; for his whole time is so 
devoted to subjects of this nature, that he thinks, 
hears, and talks of nothing else. 

Thougli he is above sixty-three years of age, he 
still chooses to continue a mere professor of rhetoric ; 
than which class none abounds with men of more 
worth, simplicity, and integrity. We, who are 
conversant in the real contentions of the bar, 
unavoidably contract a good deal of finesse, however 
contrary to our natural tempers. But the lecture- 
room, the audience-hall, the mock trial at law afford 
an employment as innocent as it is felicitous, 
particularly so for those who are advanced in years ; 
as nothing can give more felicity at that period of 
life, than to enjoy what were the most pleasing 
entertainments of our youth. I look therefore upon 
Isaeus, not only as the most eloquent, but the most 
happy of men ; as I shall esteem you the most 

H 2 


iudico ; quem tu nisi cognoscere concupiscis, saxeus 
ferreusque es. Proiiule, si rioii oh alia nosque ipsos, 
at certe ut hunc audias, veni. 

Numquamne legist! Gaditaiium quendain Titi 
Livi nomine gloriaque commotum ad visendum 
eum ab ultimo terrarum orbe venisse statimque, 
ut viderat, abisse ? ' A(f>i\6Ka\ov, illiteratum, inei'S 
ac paene etiam turpe est non putare tanti cogni- 
tionem, qua nulla est iucundior, nulla pulchrior, 
nulla denique humanior. Dices : ' Habeo hie, 
quos legam, non minus disertos.' Etiam : sed 
legendi sempex* occasio est, audiendi non semper, 
Praeterea multo magis, ut vulgo dicitur, viva vox 
adficit. Nam, licet acriora sint, quae legas, altius 
tamen in animo sedent, quae pronuntiatio, vultus, 
habitus, gestus etiam dicentis adfigit ; nisi vero falsum 
putamus illud Ae sch inis, qui cum legisset Rhodiis 
orationem Demosthenis admirantibus cunctis adiecis- 
se fertur : Tt Se, ei avTov tov 6r]piov, [ra avrov pt^fxara 
/SowvTos] rjKovaare ; et erat Aeschines, si Demostheni 
credimus, jUcyaXo^wvoTaTos. Fatebatur tamen longe 
melius eadem ilia pronuntiasse ipsum, qui pepererat. 

BOOK II. iii 

insensible, if you appear to slijjlit his acquaint- 
ance. Let me prevail with you then to come to 
Rome, if not upon my account, or any other, at 
least for the pleasure of hearing this extraordinary 

You have surely read of a certain inhabitant 
of the city of Cadiz, who was so struck with the 
illustrious character of Livy, that he travelled from 
the ends of the earth on purpose to see that great 
genius ; and, as soon as he had satisfied his curiosity, 
returned home again ? A man must have a very 
inelegant, illiterate, and indolent (I had almost said 
a very mean) turn of mind, not to think whatever 
relates to a science so entertaining, so noble, and so 
polite, worthy of his cui'iosity. You will tell me, 
perhaps, you have authors in your own library equally 
eloquent. I allow it ; and those authors you may 
turn over at any time, but you cannot always have 
an opportunity of hearing Isaeus. Besides, as the 
common saying has it, far more affecting is the 
spoken word. There is something in the voice, 
the countenance, tlie bearing, and the gesture of 
the speaker, that concur in fixing an impression 
upon the mind, deeper than can even vigorous 
writings. This at least was the opinion of 
Aeschines, who, having read to the Rhodians a 
speech of Demosthenes, which they loudly ap- 
plauded ; "but how," said he, '-'would you have 
been affected, had you heard the wild beast's own 
roar 1 " Aeschines, if we may believe Demosthenes, 
had great pomp and energy of elocution ; yet, you 
see, he could not but confess it would have been a 
considerable advantage to the oration if it had been 
pronounced by the author himself. What I aim at 

Quae omnia hue tendunt, ut audias Isaeum, vel ideo 
tantum, ut audieris. Vale. 


C. Pi.iNius Calvinae Suae S. 

Si pluribus pater tuus vel unicuilibet alii quam 
mihi debuisset, fuisset fortasse dubitandum, an adires 
hereditatem etiam viro gravem. Cum vero ego ad- 
ductus adfinitatis officio dimissis omnibus, qui, non 
dico molestiores, sed diligentiores erant, creditor 
solus exstiterim, cumque ego nubenti tibi in dotem 
centum milia contulerim praeter earn summam, quam 
pater tuus quasi de meo dixit (erat enim solvenda de 
meo), magnum habes facilitatis meae pignus, cuius 
fiducia debes famam defuncti pudoremque suscipere ; 
ad quod ne te verbis magis quam rebus horter, quid- 
quid mihi pater tuus debuit, acceptum tibi ferri 

1 02 

BOOK II. iii.-iv 

by this, is, to persuade you to come and hear Isaeus ; 
and let me again entreat you to do so, if for no other 
reason, at least that you may have the pleasure to 
say you once heai'd him. Farewell. 


To Calvin A 

If your father had left several creditors, or indeed 
a single one except myself, you might justly, per- 
haps, scruple to enter upon his estate, which, with 
such encumbrances, might prove a burden too 
heavy even for one of our sex to undertake. But 
since, out of regai*d to the affinity that subsisted be- 
tween us, I was contented to remain the only person 
unsatisfied who liad any demand upon the estate, 
while other creditors, I will not say more trouble- 
some, but certainly more cautious, were paid off ; and 
as I contributed, you may remember, 100,000 
sesterces towards your marriage poi'tion, over and 
above the sum your father charged upon this estate 
for your fortune, which may be esteemed my gift 
too, as it was to be paid out of a fund which was 
before appropriated to me — when you consider, I 
say, these instances of my friendship, you can want 
no assurance of my favourable disposition towards 
you. In confidence of which, you should not scruple 
to enter upon this inheritance, and by that means 
protect the memory of your father from the reproach 
of his dying insolvent. But that I may give you a 
more substantial encouragement to do so, than mere 
words, I entirely acquit you of the debt which he 
owed me. 



Nee est^ quod verearis, iie sit luilii onerosa ista 
donatio. Sunt quidem omnino nobis modicae facul- 
tates, dignitas sumptuosa, reditus propter condi- 
cionem agellorum nescio minor an incertior } sed, 
quod cessat ex reditu, frugalitate suppletur, ex qua 
velut e fonte liberalitas nostra decurrit ; quae tamen 
ita temperanda est, ne nimia profusione inarescat, sed 
teniperanda in aliis, in te vero facile ratio constabit, 
etiamsi modum excesserit. Vale. 


C. Plinius Luperco Suo S. 

Actionem et a te frequenter efflagitatam et a me 
sae])e promissam exhibui tibi, non tamen totam ; 
adhuc enim pars eius perj^olitur. Interim, quae 
absolutiora mihi videbantur, non fuit alienum iudicio 
tuo tradi. His tu rogo intentionem scribentis ac- 
commodes. Nihil enim adhuc inter manus liabui, cui 
maiorem sollicitudinem praestare deberem. Nam in 
ceteris actionibus existimationi hominum diligentia 
tantum et fides nostra, in Iiac etiam pietas subicietur. 
Inde et liber crevit, dum ornare patriam et amplifi- 
care gaudemus, paritcrque et defensioni eius servimus 
et gloriae. Tu tamen haec ipsa, quantum ratJQ 
104 "^ 

BOOK II. iv.-v 

Do not scruple to receive this present at my 
hands, upon the supposition that I can ill spare 
so large a sum. It is true, my fortune is but 
moderate : the expenses which my station in the 
world requires are considerable ; while the yearly 
income of my estate, from the nature and circum- 
stances of it, is as uncertain as it is small ; 'yet 
what I w^ant in revenue, I make up by economy, 
the fountain, so to speak, that supplies my bounty. 
I must be cautious, no doubt, not to exhaust it by 
too much profusion ; but that is a caution which 1 
shall observe towards others ; with respect to your- 
self, mv accounts will readily tally, though it should 
exceed bounds. Farewell. 


I SEND you at last the piece you have so often 
desired, and which I have as frequently promised : 
but it is part of it only ; the remainder I am still 
polishing. In the meanwhile I thought there would 
be no impropriety in laying before you such parts as 
seemed to me most correct. I beg you would read it 
with the s"ame close attention that I wrote it ; for I 
never was engaged in any work that required so much 
care. In my other speeches, ray diligence and in- 
tegrity only, in 'this, nTy patriotism also, will be sub- 
mitted to the judgement of the world. Hence while 
I dwelt with pleasure upon the honour of my native 
country, and endeavoured not only to support its 
rights, but heighten its glory; my oration swelled 
insensibly. However, I beg you would curtail 



exegerit, reseca. Quotiens enim ad fastidium legen- 
tium deliciasque I'espicio, intellego nobis commenda- 
tionem ex ipsa mediocritate libri petendam. 

Idem tanien, qui a te banc austeritatem exigOj 
cogor id, quod diversum est, postulare, ut in plerisque 
frontem remittas. Sunt enim quaedam adulescentiun^^ 
auribus danda, praesertim si materia non refragetur ; ' 
nam desci'iptiones locorum, quae in hoc libro frequen- 
tiores erunt, non liistorice tantum, sed prope poetice 
prosequi fas est. Quod tamen si quis extiterit qui 
putet nos lautius fecisse, quam orationis severitas 
exigat, huius, ut ita dixei'im, tristitiam reliquae partes- 
actionis exorare debebunt. Adnisi certe sumus, ut 
quamlibet diversa genera lectorum perplui*es dicendi 
species teneremus, ac, sicut veremur, ne quibusdam 
pars aliqua secundum suam cuiusque naturam non 
probetur, ita videmur posse confidere, ut universita- 
tem omnibus varietas ipsa commendet. Nam et in 
ratione conviviorum, quamvis a plerisque cibis singuli 
temperemus, totam tamen cenam laudare omnes 
solemusj nee ea, quae stomachus noster recusat, 
adimunt gratiam illis, quibus capitur. Atque haec 
ego sic accipi volo, non tamquam adsecutum me esse 
credam^ sed tamquam adsequi laboraverim, fortasse 
non frustra, si modo tu curam tuam admoveris 
interim istis, mox iis, quae sequentur. 


it, even in those favourite topics, wherever you 
find reason to do so ;-^for when I coiistder the 
affected niceness of readers, I am sensible the surest 
recommendation 1 can have to their favour is by the 
moderate lengtli of my book. 

But while I demand your severity in this instance, 
I am obHged, contrariwise to beg your leniency 
in many others. Some consideration ought to be 
had to the taste of young people, especially where 
the subject admits of it; for instance, the de- 
scriptions of places, occur frequently in this per- 
formance ; and these it is allowable to tjeat not only 
in historical but in almost poetic style. If any critic 
should happen to consider these passages too florid 
for the gravity of such an oration, the other parts 
of it ought to appease his moroseness if I may use 
that expression. I have, indeed, endeavoured to 
gain attention from readers of the most opposite 
tastes by employing several styles ; and though 
I am afraid there are some passages that will dis- 
please particular persons, as not falling in with 
their peculiar taste ; yet, its mere variety, one may 
fairly hope, will recommend the work as a whole. For 
in matters culinai-y, though we do not severally 
partake of every dish, yet we admire the general 
disposition of a dinner ; and if we happen to meet 
with something not to our palate, we are not the 
less pleased, however, with what is. I would not 
be understood to mean that I have actually furnished 
out such an entertainment ; but only that I have 
attempted to do so. And possibly my attempt may 
not prove altogether fruitless, if you will exercise 
your skill upon what I now send you, and shall here- 
after send. 



Dices te non posse satis diligenter id facere, nisi 
pi'ius totam actionem cognoveris. Fateor : in prae- 
sentia tamen et ista tibi familiariora fient, et 
quaedani ex his talia erunt, ut per partes cmendari 
possiiit. Etenim, si avulsum statuae caput aut mem- 
bruni aliquod inspiceres, non tu quidem ex illo 
posses congnientiam aequalitatemque deprendere^ 
posses tanien iudicare, an id ipsiira satis elegans 
esset ; nee alia ex causa pi*incipiorum libri circum- 
feruntur, quam quia existimatur pars aliqua etiani 
sine ceteris esse perfecta. 

Longius me provexit dulcedo quaedam tecum 
loquendi ; sed iam finem faciam, ne modum, quern 
etiam orationi adhibendum puto, in epistula excedani. 


C. PuNius AviTo Suo S. 

LoNGUM est altius repetere^ nee refert, quemadmo- 
dum acciderit, ut homo minime famiHaris cenarem 
apud quendam^ ut sibi videbatur, lautum et diligen- 
tem, ut mihi, sordidum simul et sumptuosum. Nam 
sibi et paucis optima quaedam, ceteris vilia et mifiuta 

BOOK II. v.-vi 

You will tell me, I know, that you cannot do so 
with proper accuracy till you are acquainted with 
the whole speech. There is truth in this, I confess : 
however, for the present you may better acquaint 
yourself with this detached part, wherein you will 
find some things, perhaps, that will bear piecemeal 
correction. If you were to examine the detached 
head, or any other part of a statue, though you could 
not thereby apprehend the harmony and just pro- 
portions of the entire figure, yet you would be able 
to judge of the elegancy of that particular member. 
From what other principle is it that specimens of 
books are handed about, but that it is supposed the 
beauties of particular parts may be seen, without 
taking a view of the whole ? 

A sort of pleasant notion that I am talking with 
you has carried me a greater length than I intended. 
But I stop here ; for it is not reasonable that I, who 
am for setting bounds even to a speech, should set 
none to a letter. Farewell. 



It would be a long story, and of no importance, 
were I to recount too particularly by what accident 
I (who am not at all fond of society), supped 
lately with a person, who in his own opinion lives in 
splendour combined with economy ; but according to 
mine, in a sordid but expensive manner. Some very 
elegant dishes Avere served up to himself and a few 
more of the company ; while those which were 
placed before the rest were cheap and paltry. He 



ponebat. Vinum etiam parvulis lagunculis in tria 
genera discripserat, non ut potestas eligendi, sed n*^ 
ius asset reeusandi, aliud sibi et nobis, aliud minori- 
biis amicis (nam gradatim amicos habet), aliud suis 
nostrisque libertis. Animadvertit, qui mihi proximus 
recumbebat, et, an probareni, interrogavit. Negavi. 
' Tu ergo,' inqiiit, ' quam consuetudinem sequeris ? ' 
' Eadem omnibus pono ; ad cenam enim, non ad 
notam invito cunctisque rebus exaequo, quos mensa 
et toro aequavi.' ' Etiamne libertos ? ' ' Etiam ; 
convietores enim tunc, non libertos puto.' Et ille : 
'Magno tibi constat.' ' Minime.' 'Qui fieri 
potest ? ' ' Quia scilicet liberti mei non idem quod 
ego bibunt, sed idem ego quod liberti.' 

Et hercule, si gulae temperes, non est onerosum, 
quo utaris, ipse communicare cum pluribus. Ilia ergo 
reprimenda, ilia quasi in ordinem redigenda est, si 
sumptibus parcas^ quibus aliquanto rectius tua conti- 
nentia quam aliena contumelia consulas. 

Quorsum haec ? ne tibi, optimae indolis iuveni, 

" i.e. not to be "marked" as socially inferior. Allusion 
to the mark {nota) which the Censors afSxed to names of 
expelled members in the list of the Senate. 

* Lit. " reduce to the ranks." 

BOOK II. vi 

had apportioned in small flagons three different sorts 
of \vine ; but you are not to suppose it was that the 
guests miglit take their choice : on the contrary, 
that they might not choose at all. One was for him- 
self and me ; the next for his friends of a lower 
order (for, you must know, he measures out his 
friendship according to the degrees of quality) ; and 
the third for his own freed-men and mine. One who 
sat next me took notice of this, and asked me if I 
approved of it. " Not at all," I told him. " Pray, 
then," said he, "what is your method on such 
occasions f " " Mine," I returned, " is, to give all my 
company the same fare; for when I make an invitation, 
it is to sup, not to be censored." Every man whom I 
have placed on an equality with myself by admitting 
him to my table, I treat as an equal in all particulars." 
"Even freed-men?" he asked. "Even them," I 
said ; " for on these occasions I regard them not as 
freed-men, but boon companions." " This must put 
you to great expense," says he. I assured him not 
at all ; and on his asking how that could be, I 
said " Why you must know my freed-men don't 
drink the same wine I do — but / drink what they 

And certainly if a man is wise enough to moderate 
his own gluttony, he will not find it so very chargeable 
a thing to entertain all his visitors in general as he 
does himself. Restrain and, so to speak, humble* that 
failing, if you would be an economist in good earnest. 
You will find your own temperance a much better 
method of saving expenses, than affronts to other 

What is my drift in all this, do you ask ? Why 
to hinder a young man of your excellent dis- 



quoriimdam in mensa luxuria specie frugalitatis 
iraponat. Convenit aiitem amori in te meo, quotiens 
tale aliquid inciderit, sub exemplo praemonere, quid 
debeas fugere. Igitur memento nihil magis esse 
vitandum quam istani kixuriae et sordium novam 
societatem ; quae cum sint tui-pissima discreta ac 
separata, turpius iunguntur. Vale. 


C. Plinius Macrino Suo S. 

Heri a senatu Vestricio Spurinnae principe auctore 
triumphalis statua decreta est, non ita ut multis, qui 
numquam in acie steterunt, numquam castra viderunt, 
numquam denique tubarum sonum nisi in spectaculis 
audierunt, verum ut illis, qui decus istud sudore et 
sanguine et factis adsequebantur. Nam Spurinna 
Bructerum regem vi et armis induxit in regnum 
ostentatoque bello ferocissimam gentem, quod est 
pulcherrimum victoriae genus, teiTore perdomuit. 
Et hoc quidem virtutis praemium, illud solatium 
doloris accepit, quod filio eius Cottio, quem amisit 
absens, habitus est honor statuae. Rarum id in 
iuvene ; sed pater hoc quoque merebatur, cuius 

« See iii. 10. 

BOOK II. vi.-vii 

position t'rom being imposed upon by the self-indul- 
gence which prevails at some men's tables^ 
under the guise of frugality. And whenever any 
folly of this nature falls within my observation, I 
shall, in consequence of that affection I bear you, 
point it out to you as an example which you ought to 
shun. Remember therefore, nothing is more to be 
avoided than this modern conjunction of self-indul- 
gence and meanness ; qualities superlatively odious 
when existfhg in distinct characters, but still more 
odious where they meet together in the same person. 


To Macrinus 

The Senate decreed yesterday, at the recom- 
mendation of the empei'or, a triumphal statue to 
V^estricius Spurinna : not as to many others who 
never saw a field of battle, nor a camp, nor as much as 
heard the sound of a trumpet, unless at a show ; but 
as to those whose fatigues, wounds, and exploits, 
have procured that honour. Spurinna by the power 
of his arms restored the king of the Bructeri to 
his throne ; and this by a victory of all others the 
most noble ; for he struck such a terror into that 
warlike people, that they submitted at the very 
first view of his troops. But at the same time that 
the Senate thus rewarded his valour, as a consolation 
to him for the loss of his son Cottius,'* who died during 
his absence upon that expedition, they voted like- 
wise a statue to that youth. A very unusual honour for 
one of his early years ; but the services of the father 


gravissimo vulneri magno aliquo fomento medendum 

Praeterea Cottius ipse tarn clarum specimen 
indolis dederat, ut vita eius brevis et angusta 
debuerit hac velut immortalitate proferri. Nam 
tanta ei sanctitas, gravitas, auctoritas etiam, ut posset 
senes illos provocare virtute, quibus nunc honore 
adaequatus est. Quo quidem honore, quantum ego 
interpretor, non modo defuneti memoriaej doloii 
patris, vei'um etiam exemplo prospectum est. 
Acuent ad bonas artes iuventutem adulescentibus 
quoque ut^ digni sint modo, tanta praemia con- 
stituta, acuent principes vivos ad liberos suscipiendos 
et gaudia ex superstitibus et ex amissis tam gloriosa 

His ex causis statua Cotti publice laetor 
nee privatim minus. Amavi consummatissimum 
iuvenem tam ardenter, quam nunc impatienter 
require. Erit ergo pergi'atum mihi banc effigiem 
eius subinde intueri, subinde respicere, sub hac 
consistere, praeter banc commeare. Etenim, si 
defunctorum imagines domi positae dolorem nostrum 
levant, quanto magis eae, quibus in celeberrimo loco 
non modo species et vultus illorum, sed honor etiam 
et gloria refertur ? Vale. 

^ ut Frp, Midler, om. rell. 


BOOK II. vii 

well deserved this additional recompense, for so 
severe a wound required an extraordinary application. 

Besides, Cottius himself gave so shining a speci- 
men of his qualities, that it is but right his life, 
which had so brief a period, should be extended, as 
it were, by this kind of immortality. The puritv 
of his manners, and the dignity, nay authority, of his 
character, were such that he might well have chal- 
lenged in virtue those seniors with whom he is now 
equalled in honour : an honour, if I mistake not, con- 
ferred not only in memory of the deceased vouth, and 
in consolation to the surviving father, but fur the sake 
of public example. The young men of this age will 
be hence encouraged to cultivate every worthy 
principle, when they see such rewards open even to 
striplings, sliould they deserve them ; and men of 
quality will be }>rompted to rear issue, when they 
may expect not only to be haj)py in their children, 
if they survive ; but to have so glorious a consolation, 
if they lose them. 

For the sake of the public therefore I am glad 
that a statue is decreed to Cottius : and so indeed I 
am upon my own ; for I loved this accomplished youth 
as ardently as I now impatiently regret him. It will 
be a great satisfaction to me ever and anon, to view 
this likeness of him — to look back towards it — to 
halt beneath it — to pass it as I go along. For if we 
derive consolation from images of the departed set 
up in their own homes, how much more comforting 
are they to the mourners, when, erected in a place 
of public resort, they are not only memorials of our 
lost ones' air and countenance, but of their glory 
and honour. Farewell. 




C. Plinius Caninio Suo S. 

Studes an piscaris an venaris an simul omnia r 
Possunt enim omnia simul fieri ad Larium nostrum. 
Nam lacus piscem, feras silvae, quibus lacus cingitur^ 
studia altissimus iste secessus adfatim suggerunt. 
Sed, sive omnia simul sive aliquid facis, non possum 
dicere, ' Invideo ' ; angor tamen non et mihi licere, 
quae sic concupisco ut aegri vinum, balinea, fontes. 
Numquamne lios artissimos laqueos, si solvere 
negatur, abrumpam ? Numquam, puto. Nam veteri- 
bus negotiis nova accrescunt^ nec tamen priora 
peraguntur ; tot nexibus, tot quasi catenis maius in 
dies occupationum agmeu extenditur. Vale. 


C. Plinius Apollinari Suo S. 

Anxium me et inquietum habet petitio Sexti 
Eruei mei. Adficior cura et, quain pro me sollici- 
tudinem non adii, quasi pro me altero patior ; et 
alioqui meus pudor, mea existimatio, mea digni- 
tas in discrimeu adducitur. Ego Sexto latum 

BOOK II. viii.-ix 


To Caninius 

How is my friend employed ? Is it in study, or 
angling, or the chase ? Or does he unite all three, 
as he well may on the banks of our favourite Larius ?<^ 
For that lake will supply you with fish ; as th"e "woods 
that surround it will afford you game ; Avhile the 
solemnity of that sequestered scene will at the same 
time dispose your mind to contemplation. Whether 
you are entertained with all, or any of these agi-eeable 
amusements, I cannot bring myself to say " I enw 
you," yet it irks me that I cannot partake of them 
too ; a happiness I as earnestly long for, as a sick 
man does for wine, baths, and water-springs. Shall 
I never break loose (if I may not disentangle myself) 
from these snares that thus closely enmesh me ? 
I doubt indeed, never; for new affairs keep budding 
out of the old, while yet the former remain unfinished : 
such an endless train of business daily rises upon me, 
so numerous are the ties — I may say the chains — 
that bind me ! Farewell. 


To Apollinaris 

1 AM extremely anxious and uneasy about the 
candidature of my friend Sextus Erucius. I am a 
prey to care, and feel for him as for an alter ego a 
solicitude I never felt for myself; and apart from that, 
my own honour, credit and character are at stake. 
'Twas I obtained for him of our Emperor the honour 
• See i. 3. u. 


clavum a Caesare iiostro, ego cjuaesturain impetravi, 
ineo sufTragio pcrvcnit ad ius tribunatus petendi, 
quern nisi obtinet in senatu, vereor, ne decepisse 
Cacsarem videar. Proinde adnitendum est inilii, ut 
talem eum iiidicent omnes, qiialem esse princeps 
mi hi credidit. Quae causa si studium meum non in- 
citaret, adiutum tamen cuperem iuvenem probis- 
sinium, gravissimum, eruditissimunij onini deniqiie 
laude dignissinuim et quidem cum tota domo. 

Nam pater eius Erucius Clarus, vir sanctus, anti- 
quus, disertus atqne in agendis causis exercita- 
tus, quas summa fidCj pari constantia nee vere- 
cundia minore defendit. Habet avunculum C. Sep- 
ticiunij quo nihil verius, nihil simplicius, nihil 
candidius, nihil fidelius novi. Omnes me certatim 
et tamen aequaliter amant^ omnibus nunc ego in 
uno referre gratiam possum. Itaque prenso amicos^ 
supplico, ambio, domos stationesque circumeo, quan- 
tumque vel auctoritate vel gratia valeam, precibus 
experior. Te quoque obsecro^ ut aliquam oneris mei 
partem suscipere tanti putes. Reddam vicem, si 
reposces, reddam, et si non re])osces. Diligeris, 

" i.e. tlie broad purple stripe on the toga, a mark of dis- 
tinction -vvorn by senators ; under the Emperors it was 
granted also to sons of senators and equites who were 
entering on their otiicial career. 

* The office of Trihimc of the Plebs, carrying with it the 
highest powers of the State, was assumed by Julius Caesar, 
and after him by Augustus, and became theiicefuruarJ the 

BOOK II. ix 

of wearing the Laticlave,"^ and the office of quaestor ; 
as it was by my interest that he qualified as a 
candidate for the Tribunate ; * and if the Senate 
should reject him, I am afraid it will be thought I 
imposed upon the Emperor. I must therefore 
endeavour, that the judgement of the public 
may confirm the opinion which Caesar has conceived 
of him, by my representation. But if I were not 
obliged for these reasons to interest myself in the 
success of this young man, yet his superlative probity, 
good sense, and learning would incline me to assist 
him ; as indeed, he and his Avhole family are de- 
serving of the highest applause. 

His father, Erucius Clarus, is a man of strict morals 
and ancient simplicity of manners ; an eloquent and 
experienced advocate ; and defends every cause he 
undertakes with a courage and integrity equal to his 
great modesty. Caius Septicius, his uncle, is the most 
plain, sincere, candid, and trusty man I ever knew. 
There is a rivalry amongst them who shall show me 
most afl^ection ; which nevertheless they all give me 
in an equal degree. I have now an opportunity 
of repaj'ing my debt of gratitude to the whole family, 
in the single person of Sextusi Accordingly, I warmlv 
solicit my friends, I entreat," I make house-to-house 
visits, I perambulate the places of public resort, and 
put my whole influence and popularity to the touch, 
by petitions on his behalf. I must beg of you 
likewise to condescend to take some share of this 
trouble with me ; I will return you the same good 
oflice whenever you shall require it, and even 
without your request. As you have many friends, 

pivot of Imperial authoritj;. But Tribunes to the number of 
ten were still annually appointed, by election of the Senate. 



coleris, frequentaris ; ostende modo velle te, nee 
deerunt, qui^ quod tu velis, cupiant. Vale. 


C. Plinhjs Octavio Suo S. 

HoMiNEM te patientem vel potius du um ac 
paene crudelem, qui tarn insignes libros tarn diu 
teneas ! Quousque et tibi et nobis invidebis, tibi 
maxima laude, nobis voluptate ? Sine per ora ho- 
minum ferantur isdemque quibus lingua Homana 
spatiis pervagentur. Magna enini longaqiie ex- 
peetatio est, quam frustrari adhuc et dift'erre non 
debes. Enotuerunt quidam tui versus et invito te 
claustra sua refregerunt. Hos nisi retrahis in corpus, 
quandoque ut errones aliquem, cuius dicantur, in- 
venient, Habe ante oculos mortalitatem, a qua 
adserere te hoc uno monimento potes ; nam cetera 
fragilia et caduca non minus quam ipsi lionu'jies 

Q occidunt desinuntque. 

^ Dices, ut soles: ' Amici mei viderint.' Opto 

equidem amicos tibi tarn fideles, tam eruditos, 
tam laboriosos, ut tantum curae intentionisque 
suscipere et possint et velint, sed dispice, ne sit 
parum providum sperare c'x aliis, quod tibi ipse 

BOOK II. ix.-x 

admirers, and dependents, it is but showing yourself 
a well-wisher to Sextus in this affair, and numbers 
will be ready to second your inclinations. Farewell. 



You are certainly a most enduring, or rather, hard- 
hearted, I had almost said, a most cruel man thus to 
withhold from the world such excellent compositions ! 
How long do you intend to grudge your friends the 
pleasure of your verses, and yourself the glory of 
them ? Suffer them, I entreat you, to come abroad, 
and to be admired ; as admired they undoubtedly 
will be wherever the Ro)n;in language is understood. 
The public, believe me, has long and earnestly 
expected them, and you ought not to disappoint or 
put it off any longer. Some few poems of yours have 
already, contrary to your inclinations indeed, broke 
their prison and escaped to light : these if you do 
not collect together, some person or other will claim 
the agreeable wanderers as their OAvn. Remember, 
my friend, the mortality of human nature, and that 
thei'e is nothing so likely to preserve your name, as 
a monument of this kind ; all others are as frail and 
perishable as the men whose memory they perpetuate 
and fall and pass like them. 

You will say, I suppose, as usual, " let my friends 
see to that." May you find many whose industry, 
fidelity and learning render them able and willing 
to undertake so considerable a charge I But surely 
it is not altogether prudent to expect from others 
what you will not do for yourself. However, as to 


non praestes. Et de editione quidem interim, ut 
voles, recita saltern, quo magis libeat emittere, 
utque tandem percipias gaudiiim, quod ego olim 
pro te non temere praesumo. Imaginor enim, 
qui concursus, quae admiratio te, qui clamor, quod 
etiam silentium maneat ; quo ego, cum dico vel 
recito, non minus quam clamore delector, sit modo 
silentium acre et intentum et eupidum ulteriora 
audiendi. Hoc fructu tanto, tam parato desine 
studia tua infinita ista cunctatione fraudare ; quae 
cum modum excedit, verendum est, ne inertiae et 
desidiae vel etiam timiditatis nomen accipiat. Vale. 


C. Plinius Arriano Sl'O S. 

SoLET esse gaudio tibi, si (juid actum est in senatu 
dignum ordine illo. Quamvis enim quietis amove 
secesseris, insidet tamen animo tuo maiestatis pu- 
blicae cura. Accipe ergo, quod per hos dies actum 
^st personae claritate famosum, severitate exempli 
salubre, rei magnitudine aeternum. 

Marias Priscus accusantibus Afris, quil)US pro 

" i.e. by an action for restitution of moneys extorted by a 
provincial governor. Fearing disclosures atthetiial, Priscus 
virtually pleaded guilty to "extortion" by asking to have 
the case referred at once to a board of commissioners {recijj- 

BOOK II. x.-xi 

publishing of them, have your own way for the 
present. But let me at least prevail with you to 
recite them, that you may be more disposed to send 
them abroad ; and may receive at last that satisfaction, 
which I will venture, upon very just grounds, to 
assure you of beforehand. I ])lease myself with 
imagining the crowd, the admiration, the applause, 
and even tlie silence that will attend you : for the 
silence of my audience, when it proceeds from 
attention and an earnest desire of hearing moi-e, is 
as agreeable to me as the loudest approbation. Do 
not then, by this interminable delay defraud your 
labours any longer of a fruit so certain and so 
desirable : if you should, the world, I fear, will be 
apt to charge you with carelessness and indolence, 
or, even, with timidity. Farewell. 


To Arrianus 

You ever find satisfaction in any thing that is 
transacted in the Senate, worthy of that august 
assembly : for though love of re})ose has called you 
into retirement, your heart still retains its zeal for the 
honour of the public. Accept then the following- 
account of what lately passed in that venerable body ; 
a transaction for ever memorable by its importance, 
and not only remarkable by tiie quality of the person 
concerned, but useful by the severity of the example. 

Marius Priscus, formerly Proconsul of Africa, 
being impeached '^ by that Province, instead of 

eratores) who would merely assess the amount of mone^' he 
must icfuud. 



consule praefuit, omissa defensione iudices petiit. 
Ego et Cornelius Tacitus adesse provincialil)us iussi 
existimavimus fidei nostrae convenire notum senatui 
facere excessisse Priscum immanitate et saevitia 
crimiiia, quibus dari iudices possciit, cum ob inno- 
centes coridemnandos, interficiendos etiani, pecunias 
accepisset. Respondit Fronto Catius dej^recatusque 
est, ne quid ultra repetundarum legem quaereretur, 
omniaque actionis suae vela vir movendarum la- 
crimarum peritissimus quodam velut vento mise- 
rationis implevit. Magna contentio, magni utrim- 
que clamores \aliis Gognitionem senatus lege con- 
clusam, aliis liberam solutamquc dicentibusJ quan- 
tumque admisisset reus, tantum vindicandum. No- 
vissime consul designatus lulius Ferox, vir rectus 
et sanctus, Mario quidem iudices interim censuit 
dandos, evocandos autem, quibus diceretur inno- 
centium poenas vendidisse. Quae sententia non prae- 
valuit mode, sed omnino post tantas dissensiones 
fuit sola frequens, adnotatumque experinientis,. 
quod favor et misericordia acres et vehementes 
primos impetus habent, paulatim consilio et ra- 
i^ tione quasi restincta considunt. Unde evenit, ut, 
quod multi clamore permixto tuentur, nemo ta- 
centibus ceteris dicere velit ; patescit enim, cum 

BOOK II. xi 

defending the suit, petitioned that his case might 
be referred to a special commission. CorneUus 
Tacitus and myself, being assigned by the Senate 
counsel for that province, thought it our duty to 
inform the House, that the crimes alleged against 
Priscus were of too atrocious a nature to fall within 
the cognizance of a commission ; for he was charged 
with accepting bribes to condemn, and even to 
execute, innocent persons. Fronto Catius replied on 
his behalf, and moved that the whole inquiry might 
be confined to the single article of extortion ; a master 
of j)a:ihetic eloquence, he raised as it were a gale of 
compassion to swell the sails of his discourse. The 
debates grew warm, and the members were much 
divided in their sentiments. Some declared that the 
Senate could not legally take further cognizance of 
the matter ; others, that the House was at liberty to 
proceed upon it^:aiid that punishment of the culprit 
ought to 1)6 mkde fully equivalent to his guilt. At 
last Julius Ferox, the consul-elect, a man of great 
worth and integrity, proposed that a commission 
should be granted to Marius provisionally and that 
those persons should be summoned to whom it 
was alleged he had sold innocent blood. Not only 
the majority of the Senate gave into this opinion ; 
but, after all the dissension that had been raised, it 
was the only one numerously supported. From 
whence one could not but observe that sentiments 
of compassion, though they at first operate with great 
violence, gradually subside under the quenching in- 
fluence of reason and judgement: thus it happens, 
that numbers will defend by joining in the general 
cry, what they would never pi-opose by themselves. 
The truth is, there is no discerning an object in a 



separaris a turba, contemplatio reruirij quae turba 

Veneriint, qui adesse erant iussi, Vitellius Ho- 
noratus et Flavius Marcianus ; ex quibus Ho- 
noratus trecentis milibus exilium equitis Romani 
septenique aniicorum eius ultimam poenam, Mar- 
cianus unius equitis Romani septingentis milibus 
plura supplicia arguebatur emisse ; erat enim fusti- 
bus caesus, damnatus in metallum, strangulatus in 
carcere. Sed Honoratum cognitioni senatus mors 
opportuna subtraxit^ Marcianus inductus est ab- 
sente Prisco. Itaque Tuccius Cerealis( consularis 

( iure senatorio postulavit^ ut Priscus cerfior fieret, 
sive quia miserabiliorem, sive quia invidiosiorem 
fore arbitrabatur^ si praesens fuisset, sive^ quod 
maxime credo, quia aequissimum — erat commune 
crimen ab utroque defendi et, si diiui non potuisset, 
in utroque puniri. 

Dilata res est in proximum senatum ; cuius ijise 
conspectus augustissimus fuit. Princeps praesidebat 
(erat enim consul), ad hoc lanuarius mensis cum 
cetera tum praecipue senatorum frequentia _^ cele- 
berrimus ; praeterea causae amplitudo auctaque 

"dilatione exspectatio et fama insitumque mortali- 

" Trajan ; see x. 3a. The trial took place 100 a. d. 
* In this month the several magistrates entered upon their 
several offices. 

126 ^ 


BOOK II. xi 

crowd ; one must take it aside if one would view it 
in its true light. 

Vitellius Honoratus, and Flavius Marcianiis, tlie 
persons who were ordered to be summoned, were 
brought before the house. Honoratus was charged 
with having given three hundred thousand sesterces 
to procure a sentence of banishment against a Roman 
kniglit^ as also the capital conviction of seven of his 
friends. Against Marcianus it was alleged, that he 
gave seven hundred thousand, that another Roman 
knight might be condemned to suffer various tortures ; 
and the unhappy man was first whipped, afterwards 
sent to work in the mines, and at last strangled in 
prison. But death opportunely removed Honoratus 
from the jurisdiction of the Senate. Marcianus 
however appeared, but without Priscus. Tucciu^ 
Cerealis, therefore, who had been formerly Consul,) 
demanded, agreeably to his privilege as a senator^ 
that notice to attend should be served upon Priscus j 
either because he thought the latter would excite 
more compassion, or perhaps more resentment, by 
appearing ; or because, as I am inclined to believe, 
he thought it most equitable, as the charge was 
against them both, that they should both join in the 
defence, and be acquitted or condermied together. 

The affair was adjourned to the next meeting of 
the Senate, which presented a most solemn spectacle. 
The Emperor '=' himself (for he was Consul) presided. 
It happened likewise to be the month of January ^ 
when town is very full upon many accounts, and 
jiarticularly owing to the great numbers of senators 
which that season always brings together ; moreover 
the importance of the cause, the bruit and expectation 
that had been made by the several adjournments, 



bus studium magna et inusitata noscendi omnes 
undique exciverat. Imaginare^ quae sollicitudo 
nobis, qui metus, quibus super tanta re in 
illo coetu praesente Caesare dicendum erat. 
Equidem in senatu non semel egi, quin immo 
nusfjuam audiri benignius soleo ; tunc nie tamen ut 
nova omnia novo metu permovebant. Obversabatur 
praeter ilia, quae supra dixi, causae difficultas ; 
stabat niodo consularis, modo septemvir ejjuloimm, 
iam neutrum. Erat igitur perquam onerosum ac- 
cusare damnatum, quem ut premebat atrocitas eri- 
minis, ita quasi peractae damnationis miseratio 

Utcumque tamen animum cogitationemque col- 
legia coepi dicere non rninore audientium adsensu 
quam sollicitudine mea. Dixi horis paene quinque ; 
nam XII clepsydris, quas spatiosissimas acceperam, 
sunt additae quattuor. Adeo ilia ipsa, quae dura et 
adversa dicturo videbantur, secunda dicenti fuerunt. 
Caesar quidem mihi tantum studium, tantam etiam 
curam (nimium est enim dicere sollicitudinem) 
praestitit, ut libertum meum post me stantem 

" Established 196 B.C. to take charge of the public ban- 
quets (epulae) given at certain religious festivals. The 
original three members of this college were increased to 
seven, hence the title septemviri, which was retained after 
Julius Caesar had extended the number to ten. 

' Forfeited by his being already convicted of " extortion." 
<= The clepsydra was a contrivance resembling an hour- 
glass, but containing water instead of sand. Tliose used in 
the law-courts measured a quarter of an hour each, normally ; 


BOOK II. xi 

together with that disposition in mankind to acquaint 
themselves with every thing great and uncommon, 
drew people together from all parts. Image to 
yourself the concern and anxiety we, who were to 
speak on so grave a ciiarge before such an awful 
assembly, and in the presence of the prince, must 
feel. I have often pleaded in the Senate ; as indeed 
there is no place where I am more favourably heard ; 
yet, as if the scene had been entirely new to me, 
I now found myself under novel apprehensions. 
Besides the circumstances I have just mentioned, 
the difficult nature of the case was present to my 
mind ; a man, once of consular dignity, and a member 
"of the sacred college of Ejmlones,« now stood 
before me strip{)ed of both those honours.* It was 
an onerous task, I thought, to accuse one already 
found guilty ; one who lying as he did under the most 
shocking imputations was yet as it were shielded by 
sentiments of compassion towards a convicted person. 
However, I collected my wits as best I could ; I 
began my speech, and the applause I received was 
equal to' the fears I had suffered ; I spoke almost 
five hours successively (for four clepsydrae" were 
allowed me in addition to the twelve of the largest 
scale which had been granted me beforehand) ; and 
what at my first setting out had most contributed to 
raise my apprehensions, proved in the event greatly 
to my advantage. The kindness, the care of the 
Emperor (I dare not say his anxiety) were so great 
towards me, that he frequently spoke to one of my 

hut spat iofiisswiae here implies that they could be adjusted so 
as to run more slowly. A general time-limit for the speeches 
of counsel was already established in Cicero's day ; in Pliny's 
time it seems to have been fixed by special arrangement in 
each particular case. 


VOL. I. K 


saepius admoneret, voci laterique consulerem, cum 
me vehementius putaret intendi, quam gracilitaa, 
mea perpeti posset. Respondit mihi pro Marciano 
Claudius Marcellinus. Missus deinde senatus et 
revocatus in posterum ; neque enim iam inchoari 
poterat actio,, nisi ut noctis interventu scinderetur. 

Postero~3ie dixit pro Mario Salvius Liberalis, vir 
subtilis, dispositus, acer, disertus; in ilia vero causa 
omnes artes suas protulit. Respondit Cornelius 
Tacitus eloquentissime et, quod eximium orationi 
eius inest, o-e/jivws. Dixit pro Mario rursus Fronto 
Catius insigniter, utque iam locus ille poscebat, plus 
in precibus temporis quam in defensione consumpsit. 
Huius actionem vespera inclusit, non tamen sic, 
ut abrumperet. Itaque in tertium diem probationes 

Iam hoc ipsum pulchrum et antiquum, sena- 
tum nocte dirimi, triduo vocari, triduo con- 
tineri. Cornutus Tertullus, consul designatus, vir 
egregius et pro veritate firmissimus, censuit septin- 
genta milia, quae acceperat Marius, aerario inferenda, 
Mario urbe Italiaque interdicendum, Marciano hoc 
amplius Africa. In fine sententiae adiecit, quod ego 
et Tacitus iniuncta advocatione diligenter fortiterque 
functi essemus, arbitrari senatum ita nos fecisse, ut 
dignum mandatis partibus fuerit. Adsenserunt con- 
sules designati, omnes etiam consulares usque ad 
Pompeium Collegam ; ille et septingenta milia 

" Probationes was the technical term for the third divi.sion 
of an advocate's speech, in which he submitted "proofs" to 
the jury. 


BOOK II. xi 

freedmen, who stood behind me, to desire me to 
spare my voice and breath ; imagining I should exert 
myself beyond what my meagre^ frame would bear. 
Claudius Marcellinus replied m behalf of Marcianus. 
After which the assembly broke up tiU the next day ; 
for had anqther^p_g£ch been begun, it' would have 
been cut inTwo by nightfall. 

The next day Salvius Liberalis, a very acute^ 
methodical, spirited, and eloquent orator, spoke in de- 
fence of Priscus : and he exerted all his talents upon 
this occasion. Cornelius Tacitus replied to him with 
great eloquence, and that stateliness wliich distin- 
guishes all his speeches. "Fronto Catius arose up a 
second time for Priscus, and, in a very fine speech, 
endeavoured, as indeed that stage of the case 
required, rather to soften the judges, than defend 
his client. Evening suspended, but without breaking 
off, his oration ; accordingly, the division concerned 
with proofs^ extended itself to the third day. 

It was something very noble, and in the manner 
of ancient Rome, to see the Senate, adjourned only 
by the night, thus assemble for three days together. 
The excellent Cornutus Tertullus, Consul-elect, ever 
firm in the cause of truth, moved that Marius should 
pay into the treasury the 700,000 sesterces he had 
received, and be banished Italy in perpetuity. He 
was for giving Mai'cianus the severer sentence of 
banishment from Africa also. He concluded with 
moving that Tacitus and I having faithfully and 
diligently discharged the parts assigned to us, the 
Senate resolved we had executed our trust to 
their satisfaction. The consuls-elect, and those who 
had already enjoyed that office, agreed with the 
motion of Cornutus, till Pompeius CoUega's turn 

K 2 


aerario inferenda et Marcianum in quinquennium 
relegandum, Marium repetundarum poenae, quam 
lam passus esset, censuit relinquendum. Erant in 
utraque sententia multi, fortasse etiani plures in hac 
vel solutiore vel nioUiore. Nam quidam ex illis 
quoque, qui Cornuto videbantur adsensi^ hunc^ qui 
post ipsos censuerat, sequebantur. Sed, cum fieret 
discessio, qui sellis consulum adstitei'ant, in Cornuti 

^Tgntentiani ire coeperunt. Tum illi, qui se Collegae 
adnumerari patiebantur, in div'ersum transierunt, 
Collega cum paucis relictus. Multum postea de im- 
pulsoribus suis, praecipue de Regulo questus est, 
qui se in sententia, quam ipse dictaverat, deseruisset. 
Est alioqui Regulo tarn mobile ingenium, ut pluri- 
mum audeat, plurimum timeat. 

Hie finis cognitionis amplissimae. Superest tamen 
XiTovpyLov^ non leve, Hostilius Firminus, legatus 

" Mari Prisci, qui permixtus causae graviter vehe- 
menterque vexatus est. Nam et rationibus Marciani 
et sermone, quern ille habuerat in ordine Leptitano- 
vum, operam suam Priscoad turpissimum ministerium 
cgmmodasse stipulatusque de Marciano quinquaginta 
milia denariorr.m pvobabatur, ipse praeterea accepisse 
sestertia decern milia foedissimo quidem titulo, no- 

1 AITOTPnON F, AinOTPTION M V, Xeirovpyiov Da- vulg. 
KiToupyiov, Merrill, icho exjAahvi the ivord as meaning "a 
small (AJTos) ^jj'ece of busint%.i growinr/ out of a larger one." 

" "On ordering the final division, the presiding consul 
stated one of the proposals . . . and bade those who favoured 
it to seat themselves on a specified side of the house, and 
those who favoured any different proposition on the other 
side." (Merrill.) 


BOOK II. xi 

came : he proposed that Marius should pay the seven 
hundred thousand sesterces into the treasury, but 
suffer no other punishment than what had been 
ah-eady inflicted upon him for extortion : as for 
Marcianus, he was for having him banished for five 
years only. There was a large party for both 
opinions, and perhaps the majority secretly inclined 
to the more lax, or more lenient sentence ; for many 
of those who appeared at first to agree with Cornutus^ 
went over to Collega, who had given his opinion after 
they gave theirs. But upon a division of the house, all 
those who stood near the consuls' chairs went over 
to the side of Cornutus.*^ Thereupon, those who 
were allowing themselves to be reckoned with 
Collega, crossed over to the opposite side, leaving 
him almost unsupported. He afterwards complained 
extremely of those who had urged him to this vote, 
particularly Regulus, whom he upbraided for aban- 
doning him on a motion which he himself had 
formulated. There is, indeed, such an inconsistency 
in the general character of Regulus, that he is at 
once both bold and timorous to excess. 

Thus ended this important trial ; but there remains 
a considerable appendix to the business still behind. 
It is concernmg^Tlostilius Firminus, lieutenant to 
Marius Priscus, who is strongly charged with being 
an accomplice with him : for it appeared by the 
accounts of Marcianus, and by a speech which he 
made in the municipal council at^.Lej)tis, that he 
was accessory to the wicked administration of Priscus; 
that he had bargained for fifty thousand denarii from 
Marcianus ; and that he received an additional ten 
thousand sesterces himself, and that, moreover, under 
a most disgraceful item in the account, for they were 



mine ujiguentajiijj^ qui titulus a vita hominis compti 
s€mper et pumicati non abliorrebat. Placuit cen- 
sente Cormito refcrri de eo proximo senatu ; tunc 
eninij casu incertum an conscientia, afuerat. 

Habes res urbanas ; invicem rusticas scribe. Quid 
arbusculae tuae, quid vineae, quid segetes agunt, 
quid oves delicatissimae ? In summa, nisi aeque 
longam epistulam reddes, non est, quod postea nisi 
brevissimam exspectes. Vale. 


C. Plinius Arriano Suo S. 

AiTovpyLov illud, quod superesse Mavi Prisci cau- 
sae proxime scripseram, nescio an satis, circumcisum 
tamen et adrasuni est. Firminus inductus in senatum 
respondit crimini noto. Secutae sunt diversae 
sententiae consulum designatorum ; Cornutus Ter- 
tullus censuit ordine movendum, Acutius Nerva in 
sortitione provinciae rationem eius non habendani. 
Quae sententia tamquam mitior vicit, cum sit alioqui 
durior tristiorque. Quid enim miserius quam 

" Ungnentarium (sc. argenfnm), lit. "ointment money," 
was a euphemistic term for a gratuity. (Merrill.) 


BOOK II. xi.-xii 

put down as toilet-money. "■ An entry quite in keeping 
with his foppish and effeminate personal habits! It 
was a^eed, at the mCitiSri t)"f Comutus, to proceed 
against him, at the next meeting of the senate : for, 
either by accident or conscious guilt, he was at this 
time absent. 

Thus have I given you an account of what is doing 
in town. Let me know in return, the news of the 
country ; how your groves and your vineyards, your 
corn and your choice breed of sheep flourish ? In 
fine, if you do not return me a letter as long as this, 
you need not expect to receive from me for the future 
any but the briefest. Farewell. 


To THE Same 

That apjyendix to the case of Priscus, which I 
mentioned to you in my former letter, is at last 
polished off'' — after a fashion. Firminus being 
brought before the Senate, made such a sort of 
defence as a man generally does who is conscious 
of detected guilt. The consuls-elect thereupon 
pronounced divergent opinions. Cornutus Tertullus 
moved he should be expelled the Senate ; Acutius 
Nerva, that he should be left out from the allotment 
of provinces to past consuls ; and this, as it had the 
appearance of a milder sentence, prevailed, though 
in truth it was the sterner and more severe. For 
can any situation be more wretched, than to be cut 

' Apparently a metaphor borrowed from the "finishing" 
of a statue by chiselling and filing. 


exectum et exeniptum honoribus senatoriis labore et 
molestia non carere ? quid gravius quam tanta 
ignominla adfectiiin non in solitudine latere, sed in 
hac altissima specula conspiciendum se monstraiidum- 
que praebere ? praeterea quid publice minus aut 
congruens aut decorum quam ^ notatum a senatu in 
senatu sedere ipsisque illis, a quibus sit notatus, 
aequari^summotuma proconsulatu, quia se in legatione 
turpiter gesserat, de proconsulibus iudicare damna- 
tumque sordium vel damnare alios vel absolvere ? 
Sed hoc pluribus visum est. Numerantur enim 
sententiae, non ponderantur ; nee aliud in publico 
consilio potest fieri, in quo nihil est tarn inaequale 
quam aequalitas ipsa. Nam, cum sit impar prudentia, 
par omnium ius est. 

Implevi promissum priorisque epistulae fidem 
exsolvi, quam ex spatio temporis iam recepisse te 
colligo ; nam et festinanti et diligenti tabellario 
dedi ; nisi quid impedimenti in via passus est. 
Tuae nunc partes, ut primum illam, deinde 
banc remunereris litteris, quales istinc redire uber- 
li rimae possunt. Vale. 

^ quam add. Sichard. / / . 


BOOK II. xii 

off from senatorial honours^ without exemption from 
the laborious duties of a senator ? What can be 
harder to bear than, after having received such an 
ignominy, not to lie hid in solitude, but to be 
exposed in so lofty a station to the view of the 
world ? Besides, to consider this with respect to 
the public, what can be more unbecoming the 
majesty of the Senate, than to suffer a person to 
retain a seat in the House, after having been publicly 
censured by it? What can be more indecent than 
for the censured to be ranked with his censors ? 
for a man excluded the Proconsulship, because he 
behaved infamously as a lieutenant, to sit in judge- 
ment upon Proconsuls ? for one proved guilty of the 
most sordid avarice, to condemn or acquit others of 
the like? But this was what seemed good to the 
majority. Votes go by number, not weight ; nor can 
it be otherwise in assemblies of this kind, where 
nothing is more unequal than that equality which 
prevails in them ; for though every member has the 
same right of suffrage, every member has not the 
same strength of judgement to direct it. 

I have thus discharged the promise I gave you in 
my last letter, which by my reckoning of the time 
elapsed (unless any accident has befallen the post- 
runner to whom I gave it) should now have reached 
your hands ; for he is a diligent fellow, and besides 
was in a hurry. I hope you will now, on your part, 
make me as full a return for this and my former as 
t he s cep.e you are in will permit. Farewell. 



C. Plinius Puisco Suo S. 

Et tu occasiones obligandi me avidissime amplec- 
teriSj et ego nemini libentius debeo. Duabus ergo 
de causis a te potissimum petere constituij quod 
impetratum maxime cupio. Regis exercitum am- 
plissimum ; hine tibi beneficiorum larga materia, 
loiigum praeterea tempus, quo amicos tuos exornare 
potuisti. Convertere ad nostros nee hos multos. 
Malles tu quidem multos, sed meae verecundiae 
sufficit unus aut alter ac potius unus. Is erit Voco- 
nius Romanus. 

Pater ei in equestri gradu clarus, clarior 
vitricus, immo pater alius (nam huic quoque 
nomini pietate successit), mater e primis. Ipse 
eiterioris Hisj^aniae (scis, quod iudicium provinciae 
illius, quanta sit gravitas) flamen proxime fuit. Hunc 
ego, cum simul studeremus, arte familiariterque 
dilexi ; ille meus in urbe, ille in secessu contuber- 
nalis, cum hoc seria, cum hoc iocos miscui. Quid 

" It is possible that the Priscus here addressed was L. 
Neratius Priscus, praetorian legate of Pannonia 9S or 99 a.d. 

* i.e., priest of the Temple of "Rome and Augustus" at 
Tarraco. This j?aj?<on was elected annually by the cities of 
the province. 

BOOK II. xiii 


To Priscus 

As I know you gladly embrace every opportunity 
of obliging me, so there is no man to whom I had 
rather lay myself under an obligation. Thus I am 
(loubly prom))ted to apply to you, pi-eferably to any 
"body else, for a favour which I am extremely 
desirous of obtaining. You who are at the head of 
a very considerable army " have many opportunities 
of bestowing kindnesses ; and the length of time 
you have enjoyed that post, must have enabled you to 
advance all your own friends. I hope you will noAv 
turn your eyes upon some of mine : they are but one 
or two indeed, for whom I shall solicit you ; a man 
of your disposition, I knov/, would be better pleased 
if the number were greater. But I am too modest 
to trouble you with recommending more than one 
or two ; at present I will only mention Voconius 

His father was of great distinction among the 
Roman knights ; and his step-father, or as I might 
more properly call hirir,~his second father (for his 
affectionate treatment of Voconius entitles him to 
that appellation) was still more conspicuous. His 
mother belonged to one of the most considerable 
families. He himself was lately Flamen ^ of Hither 
Spain : you know what character the people of 
that province bear, and how remarkable they are for 
the strictness of their manners. Our friendship 
began with our studies, and we were early united 
in the closest intimacy. We lived together in town 
and country ; he shared with me my most serious 



enim illo aut fidelius amico aut sodale iucundius ? 

Mira in sermone, mira etiam in ore ipso viiltuque 

suavitas. Ad hoc ingenium excelsum, subtile, dulce, 

facile, eruditum in causis agendis ; epistulas quidem 

^ scribit, ut Musas ipsas Latine loqui credas. Amatur 

a me plurimum nee tamen vincitur. Equidem iuve- 

nis statim iuveni, quantum potui per aetatem^ avi- 

dissime contuli et nuper ab optimo principe trium 

liberorum ei ius impetravi. Quod quamquam parce 

et cum delectu daret, mihi tamen, tamquam eligeret,! 

indulsit. Haec beneficia mea tueri nullo modo 

melius, quam ut augeam, possum, praesertim cum 

ipse ilia tam grate interpretetur, ut, dum priora ac- 

cipit, posteriora mereatur. 

Habes, qualis, quam probatus carusque sit 

nobis ; quem rogo pro ingenio, pro fortuna tua 

exornes. In primis ama hominem ; nam, licet 

tribuas ei, quantum amplissimum potes, nihil 

tamen amplius potes amicitia tua ; cuius esse eum 

usque ad intimam familiaritatem capacem quo 

^ eligeret Rirc. Fa, K, liceret M V. 

11 " Augustus, with a view to counteracting the tendency to 
'! race suicide, had granted certain exemptions and privileges 
j to fathers of three legitimate children. But the uis trium 
I liberorum became later an artificial privilege which the 
! Emperor could confer at his pleasure on childless citizens ; 

thus Pliny himself received it from Trajan (x. 2) and 

requested it for Suetonius (x. 9i}. 


BOOK II. xiii 

and my gayest hours : and where, indeed, cuiild 
I have found a more faithful friend, or more agree- 
able companion ? In his conversation, and even in 
his very voice and countenance, there is an extraor- 
dinary sweetness ; to this advantage he joins an 
elevated, penetrating, facile, and charming mind, 
deeply versed in legal practice. His letters are 
such, that were you to read them, you would 
imagine the Muses themselves talk Latin. I love 
him with more than common affection, yet not 
exceeding his for me. For my part, from our boyish 
days I warmly embraced every opportunity of doing 
him all the good offices which then lay in my power ; 
as I have lately obtained for him of our excellent 
Emperorthe privilege granted to those who have thiee 
children : ^'^ favour which though Caesar bestows 
sparingly and with discrimination, yet he conferred, 
at my request, in such a manner as to give it the air 
of being his own choice. My best way of main- 
taining tiie obligation he has already incurred to me, 
is by adding more to them, especially as he always 
accei)ts my good offices with so much gratitude as to 
merit farther. 

Thus I have given you a faithful account of 
Romanus, and informed you how thoroughly I have 
experienced his worth, and how much I love him. 
Let me entreat you to honour him with your 
patronage in a way suitable to the generosity of your 
heart, and the eminence of your station. But, 
above all, admit him into a share of your affection ; 
for though you were to confer upon him the utmost 
you have in your power to bestow, you can give him 
nothing more valuable than your friendship. That 
you may see he is worthy of it, even to the highest 



magis scires, breviter tibi studia, mores, omnem 
denique vitam eiiis expressi. Extenderem preces, 
nisi et tu rogari diu iiolles, et ego tola lioc epistula 
fecissein ; rogat enim et quidern efficacissime, qui 
reddit causas rogandi. Vale. 

C. Plinius Maximo Suo S. 

Verum opinaris ; distringor centumviralibus causis 
quae me exercent magis qiiam delectant. Sunt 
enim pleraeque parvae et exiles ; raro incidit vel 
personarum claa'itate vel negotiimagnitudine insignis. 
Ad hoc perpauci, cum quibus iuvet dicere, ceteri 
audaces atque etiam magna ex parte adulescentuli 
obscuri ad declamandum hue transeunt tarn irreve- 
renter et temere, ut mihi Atilius noster expresse 
dixisse vidcatur sic in foro pueros a centumviralibus 
causis auspicari ut ab Homero in scholis. Nam hie 
quoque ut illic primum coepit esse, quod maximum 
est. At hercule ante memoriam meam (ita maiores 
natu Solent dicere) ne nobilissimis quidem adulescen- 
tibus locus erat nisi aliquo consular! producente ; 

BOOK II. xiii.-xiv 

degree of intimacy, I liave sent you this short sketcli 
of his tastes, his manners, in fine, his whole character. 
(I should continue my intercessions in his behalf, but 
that I am sure you do not love long appeals, and I 
have uttered one in eveiy line of this letter : for to 
show good cause for a request, is to make it, and 
that in the most effectual way. Farewell. 


To Maxim us 

You guessed right : I am engrossed in plead- 
ing before the Centumviri, a business which brings 
me more of fatigue than pleasure. The causes are 
generally trivial and jejune, and it is very seldom 
that any thing considerable, either from the impor- 
tance of the question, or the rank of the persons 
concerned, comes before them. There is this 
farther disagreeable circumstance attending it, that 
there are very few counsel who frequent this court, 
with whom I can take any sort of satisfaction in 
appearing. The rest are a parcel of impudent 
fellows, and the majority actually obscure young 
men, who migrate hither from the schools, to 
practise declaiming, with so much irreverence and 
impropriety, that my friend Atilius with great just- 
ness observed, " our boys set out at the bar with 
Centumviral causes, as they do at school with 
Homer," intimating, that in both places they begin 
at the top of the ladder. But " before I can remem- 
ber " (to use an old man's phrase) it was not 
admissible for the youth, even of the best families, 
to appear as counsel, unless introduced by some 



tanta veneratione pulcherrimum opus colebatur. 

Nunc refractis pudoris et reverentiae claustris omnia 

patent omnibus, nee inducuntur, sed irrumpunt. 

Sequuntur auditores actoribus similes, conducti et 

redempt) ; ^ nianceps convenitur; in media basilica 

tam palam sportulae, quam in triclinio dantur. Ex 

iudicio in iudicium pari mercede transitur, Inde 

iam non inurbane So^okXcis vocantur a-rro toS o-o<^a)s 

Koi KaXeiaOaL ; isdem Latinum nomen impositum est 

' Laudiceni.' Et tamen crescit in dies foeditas utraque 

lingua notata. Heri duo nomenclatores mei (habent 

sane aetatem eorum, qui nuper togas sumpserint) 

ternis denariis ad laudandum trahebantur. Tanti 

constat, ut sis disertissimus. Hoc~pretio quamlibet 

numerosa subsellia implentur, hoc ingens corona 

coUigitur, hoc infiniti clamores commoventur, cum 

ixeaoxopos dedit signum. Opus est enim signo apud 

non intellegentes, ne audientes quidem ; nam 

plerique non audiunt, nee ulli magis laudant. Si 

1 conilucti et redempti ; manceps convenitur ; in media A' 
ex M V D, condncti et redempti mancipes. convenitur a 
cond. et red. pro, manceps conv. a conductis et red. F {om. 
nianceps) Otto, Miiller. 

" i.e. of money, which replaced the dole of food anciently 
given by a patron to his clients. Here the fee paid in 
advance to these professional claqueurs by the agents (man- 
ceps) who employ them. 

* Lit. "from the words ' Bravo!' and 'to call.'" The 
second pun (on Laodiceans, fiom laus, "praise" and cena, 
" supper,") is the less execrable of the two. 


BOOK II. xiv 

person of Consular dignity : so much respect did our 
ancestors bear to this noble profession. But now, since 
every restraint of modesty and reverence is broken 
down, and all distinctions levelled and confounded, 
the youth of our day are so far from waiting to be 
introduced, that they rudely rush in uninvited. 

The audience that follow them are fit for such 
performers, a low rout of hired mercenaries ; they 
keep their appointment with the contractor ; in the 
middle of the court-house the dole " is dealt round 
to them as openly as if they were in a dining-room : 
and at this noble price they run from court to court ! 
Hence this sort of people are dubbed in Greek, 
wittily enough, Sophocleses, importing that they are 
applauders by profession,* and we call them in 
Latin table-Jlalterers ; yet the meanness stigmatized 
in both languages increases every day. It was but 
yesterday two of my remembrancers," who are only 
just old enough to wear the toga, were hired to 
applaud at the price of three d^riarii apiece ; so 
cheaply may you buy the title of Most Eloquent ! 
Upon these terms, we fill any number of benches 
and gather a huge circle ; and thus it is those 
unmerciful shouts are raised, when the chorus- 
conductor gives the word. For you must know, 
these honest fellows, who understand nothing of 
what is said, and cannot even hear it, would be at 
a loss, without a signal, how to time their applause ; 
for most of them do not hear a sj'llable, and these 
are as clamorous as any of the rest. If at any time 

* Romans of quality kept one or more slaves, called 
nomenclatores, M'hose business it was to know every one by 
sight, and prompt their master with tiie names of those who 
called on him, or saluted him abroad. 

VOL. I. L 


quando transibis per basilicam et voles scire, quo 
modo quisque dicat, nihil est, quod tribunal 
ascendas, nihil, quod praebeas aurem ; facilis divi- 
natio; scito eum pessime dicere, qui laudabitur 

Primus hunc audiendi morem induxit Larcius' 
Licinus, hactenus tamen, ut auditores corrogaret. 
Ita certe ex Quintiliano, praeceptore meo, audisse 
memini. Narrabat ille : ' Adsectabar Domitium 
Afrum, Cum apud centumviros diceret graviter et 
lente (hoc enim illi actionis genus erat), audiit 
ex proximo immodicnm insolitumque clamorem. 
Admiratus reticuit. Ubi silentium factum est, 
repetiit, quod abruperat. Iterum clamor, iterum 
reticuit, et post silentium coepit idem tertio. Novis- 
sime, quis diceret, quaesivit. Responsum est, " Lici- 
nus." Turn intermissa causa, " Centumviri," inqjiit, 
" hoc artificium periit." ' Quod alioqui perire incipie- 
bat, cum perisse Afro videretui*, nunc vero prope 
funditus exstinctum et eversum est. Pudet referre, 
quae quam fracta pronuntiatione dicantur, quibus, 
quam teneris ^ clamoribus excipiantur. Plausus tan- 
tum ac potius sola cymbala et tympana illis canticis 
desunt ; ululatus quidem (neque enim alio vocabulo 
potest exprimi theatris quoque indecora laudatio) 
large supersunt. Nos tamen adhuc et utilitas 
amicorum et ratio aetatis moratur ac retinet ; vere- 

' Larcius Rice. Fa, K, Largius M VD i^r. 
2 teneris vulg. taetris Momms. K ii, JJiill. 


BOOK II. xiv 

you should happen to pass by the court-house, and 
would know the merit of any of our advocates, you 
have no occasion to give yourself the trouble of 
mounting the bench or of listening to them : here 
there is a simple method of divination : take it for 
a rule, he that has the loudest commendations is the 
worst orator. 

Larcius Licinus was the first who gave rise to this 
custom ; but then he went no farther than to solicit 
an audience : so I remember to have heard my tutor 
Quintilian say. He used to relate this anecdote — ■ 
" I was a follower of Domitius Afer. Pleading one 
day before the Centumviral Court, in his wonted 
grave and deliberate manner, he heard near by a 
most immoderate and unusual noise. Being a good 
deal surprised, he left off; when the noise ceased, he 
began again ; he was interrupted a second time, and 
a third. At last he inquired Vvho it was that was 
speaking? He was told, Licinus. Thereupon, aban- 
doning the suit, 'Your Honours,' says he, 'it is all 
over with this profession.' " The truth is, it was only 
beginning to decline, when in Afer's opinion it was 
entirely perished : whereas now it is almost utterly 
ruined and extinct. I am ashamed to say with what 
an unmanly elocution the orators deliver themselves, 
and with wliat a squeaking applause they are received ; 
nothing seems wanting to comple Jt-^ this sing-song 
oratory, but the claps, or rather the cpnbals and tam- 
bourines of Cybele's votaries. Howlings (for I can 
call by no other term a sort of applause which 
would be indecent even in the theatre), we have 
enough of and to spare. Hitherto the interest of my 
friends, and the consideration of my early time of 
life, has retained me in this court : for it would be 

L 2 


mur enim, ne forte noii has indigiiitates reliquisse, 
sed laborem refugisse videamur. Sumus tamen 
solito rariores, quod initiuvn est gradatira desinendi. 


C. Plinius V'ai.eriano Sue S. 

QuoMODo te veteres Marsi tui ? quomodo eraptio 
nova ? Placent agri^ postquam tui facti sunt ? Rarura 
id quidem ! Nihil enim aeque gratum est adeptis, 
quani concupiscentibus. Me praedia materna parum 
commode tractant, delectant tamen ut materna^ 
Jilioqui longa patientia occallui. Habent hunc 
finem adsiduae querelae, quod queri pudet. Vale. 


C. Plinius Annio Suo S. 

Tu quidem pro cetera tua diligentia admones me 
codicillos Aciliani, qui me ex parte instituit heredem, 
pro non scriptis habendos, quia non sint confirmati 
testamento ; quod ius ne mihi quidem ignotum est^ 

1/ "A codicil, by the ancient civil law, was a less solemn 
J kind of will, in which it was not necessary to observe so 
j strictly the ceremonies prescribed by the law for a will. But 

^ L^j^ v}'^^' '"-''-^ ■ ^- 

BOOK II. xiv.-xvi 

thought, I fear, rather an evasion of fatigues than a 
relinquishment of these indecencies, were I yet to 
leave it : however I come there less frequently than 
usual, and am thus preparing a gradual retreat. 


To Valerianus 

How goes on your old Marsian estate ? and how 
do you approve of your new purchase ? Has it as 
many beauties in your eye now, as before you bought 
it.-* That would be extraordinary indeed ! for an ob- 
ject in possession never retains the same charms it 
had in pursuit. As for myself, the estate left me by 
my mother uses me but ill ; however I value it for 
her sake, and am, besides, grown a good deal in- 
sensible by a long course of endurance. Thus con- 
stant complaints generally end at last in being 
ashamed of complaining any more. 


To Annianus 

You act agreeably to your usual kind concern for 
my interest, when you advise me to look upon the 
codicils of Acilianus (who has appointed me one of 
"■hrs~'cb-lTeirs) as void, because it is not confirmed by 
his will. That the law in this case esteems it invalid, 
I well know ; and it is a point to which even those 

no legacy given by a codicil was valid, unless confirmed by 
the will, which was esteemed i(,3 basis. (Melm.) 



cum sit lis etiam notum, qui nihil aliud sciunt. Sed 
ego propriam quaiidam legem milii dixi, ut de- 
functorum voluntates, etiamsi iure deficerentj quasi 
perfectas tuerer. Constat autem codicillos istos 
Aciliani manu scriptos. Licet ergo non sint 
confirmati testamento, a me tamen ut confirmati 
observabuntur^ praesertim cum delatori locus non sit. 
Nam, si verendum esset, ne, quod ego dedissem, 
populus eriperet, cunctatior fortasse et cautior esse 
deberem ; cum vero liceat heredi donare, quod in 
hereditate subsedit, nihil est, quod obstet illi meae 
legi, cui publicae leges non repugnant. Vale. 


C. Plinius Gallo Suo S. 

MiRARis, cur me T^aurentinum^ vel, si ita mavis, 
Laurens meum tantcperc delectet. Desines mirari, 
cum cognoveris gratiam villae, opportunitatem loci, 
litoris spatium. Decern et se])Lem milibus passu um 
ab urbe secessit, ut peractis, quae agenda fuerint, 
salvo iam et compositodie possis ibi manere. Aditur 
noii una via ; nam et Laurentina et Ostiensis eodem 

" i.e. pass to the State treasury, under the laws relating 
to intestacy and void bequests. 

BOOK II. xvi.-xvii 

who are ignorant of every other are usually no 
strangers. But I have as it were laid down a special 
law for myself, and that is, to carry out the intention 
of the dead, though it may not be legally binding, 
as if it were formally valid. This codicil, beyond all 
manner of doubt, is of Acilianus's own hand-writing ; 
therefore though it is not confirmed by his will, I shall 
be guided by it as strictly as if it were : especially 
as there is no danger that any informer can take ad- 
vantage of this mistake. If indeed there was any 
hazard, that what I give to the legatees in the 
codicil would be forfeited to the use of the public,** 
I ought perhaps to act with more caution and de- 
liberation ; but as the heir may dispose of what 
accrues to him as such, in the manner he thinks 
proper ; nothing hinders, since the law of the land 
does not, my observing that law which I have laid 
down to myself. Farewell. 


To Gallus 

You are surprised, it seems, that I am so fond of 
my Laurentinum, or (if you like the appellation 
better) my Laurens : but you will cease to wonder, 
when I acquaint you with the charm of the villa, the 
advantages of its situation, and the extensive prospect 
of the sea-coast. It is but seventeen miles distant 
from Rome ; so that having finished your affairs 
in town, you can sj)end the night here after 
completing a full workmg-day. There are two 
different roads to it ; if you go by that of Lauren- 
turn, you must turn off at the fourteenth mile- 


feruntj sed Laurentiiia a quartodecimo lapide, 
Ostiensis ab undcciino relinquenda est. Utrimque 
excipit iter aliqua ex parte harenosum iunctis paulo 
gravius et longius^ equo breve et molle. Varia hinc 
atque inde facies ; nam modo occurrentibus silvis via 
coartatur, modo latissimis pratis diffunditur et 
patescit ; multi greges ovium, multa ibi equorum 
boiniique armenta, quae montibus hieme depulsa, 
herbis et tepore verno nitescunt. 

Villa usibus capax, non sumptuosa turela. Cuius in 
prima parte atrium frugi nee tamen sordidum, deinde 
porticus in D litterae similitudine circumactae, quibus 
pai'vula sed festiva area includitur. Egregium hae 
adversus tempestates reeeptaculum ; nam specularibus 
ac multo magis imminentibus tectis muniuntur. Est 
contra medias cavaedium hilare^ mox triclinium satis 
pulchrum, quod in litus excurrit ac, si quando Africo 
mare impulsum est, fractis iam et novissimis fluctibus 
leviter adluitur. Undique valvas aut fenestras non 
minores valvis habet atque ita a lateribus et a fronte 
quasi tria maria prospectat ; a tergo cavaedium, 
porticum, aream, porticum rursus, mox atriumj silvas 
et longinquos respicit montes. 

Huius a laeva I'etractius paulo cubiculum est 

(!/' i^t-^'i^^t O^f'^^ 

BOOK II. xvii 

stone ; if by Ostia, at the eleventh. Both of them 
are in some parts sandy, which makes it something 
heavy and tedious if you travel in a coach, but easy 
and pleasant to those who ride. The landscape on 
all sides is extremely diversified, the prospect in 
some places being confined by woods, in others 
extending over broad meadows, where numberless 
flocks of sheep and herds of horses and cattle, which 
the severity of the winter has drove from the 
mountains, fatten in the vernal warmth of this rich 

My villa is large enough for my convenience, 
without being expensive to maintain. The entrance- 
hall is plain, but not mean, through which you enter 
into a portico in the form of the Letter D, wliich 
includes a small, but agreeable area. This affords 
a capital retreat in bad weather, as it is sheltered by 
glazed windows, and much more by overhanging 
eaves. From the middle of this portico you pass 
into an inward hall extremely pleasant, and from 
thence into a handsome enough dining-room which 
runs out towards the sea ; so that when a south-west 
wind drives the sea shoreward, it is gently washed 
by the edge of the last breakers. On every side of this 
room there are either folding doors or windows equally 
large, by which meanl"y5trharvB a view from the front 
and the sides, as it were of three different seas ; from 
the back part you see the middle court, the portico 
and the area ; and by another view you look through 
the portico into the atrium, from whence the prospect 
is terminated by the woods and mountains which are 
seen at a distance. 

On the left-hand of this room, something 
retired from its fa9ade, lies a lai-ge drawing-room, 



aniplum, deinde aliud minus, quod altera fenestra 
admittit orientem, occidentem altera retinet, hac 
et subiacens mare longius quidem, sed securius 
intuetur. Huius cubiculi ct triclinii illius obiectu 
includitur angulus, qui jiurissimum solem continet 
ct acccndit. Hoc hibernaculumj hoc etiam gymna- 
sium meorum est ; ibi omnes silent venti exceptis 
qui nubilum inducunt et serenum, ante quam 
usum loci eripiunt. Adnectitur angulo cubiculum 
in hapsida cu^vatum, quod ambi turn solis fenestris 
omnibus sequitur. Parieti eius in bibliothecae 
speciem armarium insertum estj quod non legendos 
libroSj sed lectitandos capit. /Adhaeret dormitorium 
membrum transitu interiacente, qui suspensus et 
tubulatus conceptum vaporem salubri temperamento 
hue illucque digerit et ministrat. Reliqua pars 
lateris huius servorum libertorumque usibusdetinetur 
plerisque tarn mundis, ut accipere hospites possint. 

Ex alio latere cubiculum est politissimuni ; deinde 
vel cubiculum grande vcl modica cenatio, quae 
plurimo sole, plurimo mari lucet ; post hanc cubiculum 
cum proicoetone altitudine aestivum, munimentis 
hibernum ; est enim subductum omnibus ventis. 

BOOK II. xvii 

and beyond that, a second of a smaller size^ which 
has one window to the rising, and another to the 
setting .sun : this has likewise a prospect of the sea, 
but being at a greater distance, is less incommoded 
by it. The angle which the projection of the hall 
makes with this drawing-room, retains and increases 
the warmth of the sun; this serves as a winter 
retreat, and also as a gyiiinasium for my houseliold ; 
it is sheltered from all winds except those which are 
generally attended with clouds, so that nothing can 
render this place useless, but what at the same time 
destroys the fair weather. TContiguous to this, is a 
room forming the segment of a circle, the windows 
of whlcTT are so placed as to receive the sun the 
whole day ; in the wall is contrived a cupboard like a 
bookcase, Avhich contains a collection of such authors 
whose works can never be read too often. From 
hence you pass into a bedchamber through a pa&sage, 
which having a boarded floor over a stove which runs 
underneath, and jiipes in the walls, tempers the heat 
which it receives and conveys to the adjacent rooms. 
The remainder of this side of the house is appro- 
priated to the use of my slaves and freedmen, but 
however most of the apartments in it are neat enough 
to entertain guests. 

In the opposite wing is a very elegant parlour ; 
next to which lies another room, which though 
large for a parlour, makes but a moderate dining- 
room ; it is exceedingly warmed and enlightened 
not only by the direct rays of the sun, but by 
their reflection from the sea. Beyond this is a 
chamber, together with its ante-chamber, the height 
of which renders it cool in summer, as its being 
sheltered on all sides from the winds makes it warm 



Huic cubiculo aliud et procoeton communi pariete 

iunguntur. Inde balinei cella frigidaria spatiosa et 

eff'usa, cuius in contrariis parietibus duo baptisteria 

velut eiecta sinuantur, ahunde capacia, si mare ^ in 

proximo cogites. Adiacet unctorium, hypocauston, 

adiacet propnigeon balinei mox duae celiac magis 

elegantes quam sumptuosae ; cohaeret calida piscina 

mirifica, ex qua natantes mare aspiciui/t, nee procul 

sphaeristerium, quod calidissimo soli inclinato iani 

die occurrit. Hinc turris erigitur, sub qua diaetae 

duae, totidem in ipsa, praeterea cenatio, quae la- 

tissimum mare, longissimum litus, amoenissimas 

villas prospicit. Est et alia turris. In hac cubicu- 

lum, in quo sol nascitur conditurque, lata post 

apotheca et horreum, sub hoc triclinium, quod 

turbati maris non jnisi fragorem et sonumi patitur 

eumque iam languidum ac desinentem ; hortum et 

gestationem videt, qua hortus includitur. 

Gestatio buxo aut rore marino, ubi deficit buxus, 

ambitur ; nam buxus, qua parte defenditur tectis, 

abunde viret ; aperto caelo apertoque vento et quam- 

^ mare MV Dr, K, Merr., sin marc Rice. Fp, si innare a, 
si nare Catan., Otto, Miill. 

" i.e. there is no need for extra large cold baths, when you 
can get your plunge in the sea. 

BOOK II. xvii 

in winter. To this apartment another of the same 
sort is joined by one common walh From tlience 
you enter into the grand and spacious coo/ing-room 
belonging to the baths, from the opposite walls of 
which two basins curve outwards as though the 
wall were pressed into half-hoops ; these are fully 
large enough, if you consider that the sea is close 
by.** Contiguous to this is the anointing room, 
the fui'nace adjoining, and boiler-room ; then come 
two other little bathing-rooms, which are fitted up 
in an elegant rather than costly manner : annexed 
to this, is a warm bath of extraordinary workmanship, 
wherein one iiiay swim, and have a prospect at the 
same time of the sea. Not far from hence stands 
the tennis-court, which lies open to the warmth of 
the afternoon sun. From thence you ascend a sort 
of turret, which contains two entire apartments 
below ; there are the same number above, besides 
a dining-room which commands a very extensive 
prospect of the sea and coast, together with the 
beautiful villas that stand upon it. There is a 
second turret, containing a room which takes both 
the I'ising and setting sun. Behind this is a store- 
room and a larder, and underneath a spacious dining- 
room where the sea roai'ing in tempest is not felt, 
but only heard, and that faintly : it looks upon 
the garden and the atlee, which surrounds the 

The allee is encompassed with a box-tree hedge, 
and where that is decayed, with rosemary ; for the 
box in those parts which are sheltered by the 
buildings, preserves its verdure perfectly well : but 
where by an open situation it lies exposed to the 
winds and to the dashing sea-water, though at a great 



quam longinqua aspergine maris iiiarescit, Adia- 
cet gestation! interiore circuitu vinea tenera et 
umbrosa nudisque etiam pedibus mollis et cedens. 
Hortum morus et ficus frequens vestit, quarum 
arboriim ilia vel maxima ferax teiTa est, mali- 
gnior ceteris. tLic non deteriore quam maris fa- 
cie cenatio remota a mari fruitur, cingitur diaetis 
duabus a tergo, quarum fenestris subiacet vestibulum 
villae et hortus alius piiiguis et rusticus. 

Hinc cryptoporticus prope publici operis extenditur. 
Utrimque fenestrae^ a mari plures, ab horto singulae, 
et alternis pauciores. Hae, cum serenus dies et im- 
motus, omnes, cum hinc vel inde ventus inquietus, 
qua venti quiescunt, sine iniuria patent. Ante crypto- 
portlcum xystus violis odoratus. Teporem solis infusi 
repercussu cry[)toporticus auget, quae at tenet solem 
sic aquilonera inhibet summovetque, quantumque 
caloris ante tantum retro frigoris. Similiter Africum 
sistit atque ita diversissimos ventos alium alio latere, 
frangit et finit. Haec iucunditas cius hieme, maicr 
aestate. Nam ante meridiem xystum, post meridiem 
gestationis hortique proximam partem umbra sua 

" Cryptoporticus, a portico walled ou both sides, forming a 

* Lit. a number on the seaward side, on the side towards 
Lhe garden they are placed singly and are fewer by every 
other window (than those opposite). 


BOOK II. xvii 

distance, it entirely withers. Between the garden 
and this allce runs a shady walk of vines, soft and 
yielding to the tread, even when you walk bare- 
foot. Tlie garden is thickly planted with fig and 
mulberry trees, to which this soil is as favourable 
as it is averse to all others. In this place is a 
banqueting room, which though it stands remote from 
the sea, enjoys however a prospect nothing inferior 
to that view : two apartments run round the back 
part of it, whose windows look respectively upon the 
entrance of the villa, and into a well-stocked kitchen 

From hence a gallery* extends itself, which by 
its size you might take for a public one. It 
has a range of windows on each side, but on that 
which looks towards the sea they are double the 
number of those next the garden.* When the 
weather is fair and serene, these are all thrown open ; 
but if it blows, those on the side the wind sits are 
shut, while the others remained unclosed without 
any inconvenience. Before this gallery lies a t^i^m^ 
perfumed with violets, and warmed by the reflection 
of the sun from the gallery, which as it retains the 
rays, so it keeps oft' the north-east wind ; and it is as 
warm on this side, as it is cool on the opposite : in 
the same manner it is a defence against tlie south- 
west, and thus in short, by means of its several sides, 
breaks the force of the winds from what point soever 
they blow. These are some of the winter advantages 
of this building, which however has still more 
considerable in the summer ; for at that season it 
throws a shade upon the terrace during all the 
forenoon, as it defends the nearest part of the allee 
and garden from the afternoon sun, and casts a 



temperat, quae, ut dies crevit decrevitve, modo 

brevior, modo longior liac vel iliac cadit. Ipsa vero 

cryptoporticus turn maxime caret sole, cum ardentis- 

simus culmini eius insistit. Ad lioc patentibus fe- 

nestris favonios accipit transmittitque nee unquam 

acre pigro et manente ingravescit. 

In capite xysti deinceps cryptoporticus, horti 

diaeta est, amores mei, revera amores ; ipse posui. 

, In hac heliocaminus quidem alia xystum, alia 

mare, iitraque solem, cubicnlum autem valvis 

cryptoporticum, fenestra prospicit mare. Contra 

parietem medium zotheca perquam eleganter recedit, 

quae specularibus et velis obductis reductisve modo 

adicitur cubiculo, modo aufertur. Lectum et duas 

cathedras capit ; a pedibus mare, a tergo villae, a capite 

silvae. Tot facies locorum totidem fenestris et 

distinguit et miscet. lunctum est cubiculum noctis 

et somni. Non illud voces servulorum, non maris 

murmur, non tempestatum motus, non fulgurum 

lumen ac ne diem quidem sentit nisi fenestris 

apertis. i Tarn alti abditique secret! ilia ratio, quod in- 

teriacens andron parietem cubiculi hortique distinguit 

atque ita omnem sonum media inanitate consumit. 

" Heliocamirius, "sun-parlour." 
1 60 

BOOK II. xvii 

greater or less shade either way as the day either 
increases or decreases ; but the portico itself is then 
shadiest when the sun is most scorching, tliat is, 
when its rays fall directly upon the roof. To these 
advantages I must not forget to add, that by setting 
open the windows, the western breezes have a free 
draught, and by that means the enclosed air is 
prevented from stagnating. 

Crowning the terrace, portico, and garden, stands 
a detached buildfng, which I call my Javowitc: and 
in truth i am extremely fond of it, as I erected it 
myself.<' It contains a very warm winter-room," one 
side of which looks upon the terrace, the other has 
a view of the sea, and both lie exposed to the sun ; 
and a chamber looking by folding- doors upon the 
enclosed portico and by a window on the sea. 
Against the middle wall stands a little elegant 
retired closet, which by means of glass doors and 
a curtain, is either laid into the adjoining room, or 
separated from it. It holds a couch and two chairs. 
As you lie upon this couch, from the feet you have 
a prospect of the sea ; if you look behind, you see 
the neighbouring villas ; and from the head you have 
a view of the woods : these three views may be seen 
either distinctly from so many different windows in 
the room, or blended together in one confused 
prospect. Adjoining to this, is a bed-chamber, 
which neither the voice of the servants, the murmur 
of the sea, nor even the roaring of a tempest can 
reach ; not lightning nor the day itself can pene- 
trate it, unless you open the windows. This pro- 
found tranquillity is occasioned by a passage, which 
divides the wall of this chamber from that of the 
garden, and thus, by means of that void intervening 



Applicitum est cubiculo hypocauston perexigiium. 
quod angusta fenestra suppositum calorem, ut ratiu 
exigitj aut eflTundit aut retinet. Procoeton inde et 
eubiculuin porrigitur in solem, quern orientem statim 
exceptum ultra meridiem obliquum quidem, sed 
tamen servat. In banc ego diaetam cum me recipio, 
abesse mibi etiam a villa mea videor magnamque 
eius voluptatem praecipue Saturnalibus capio, cum 
reliqua pars tecti licentia dierum festisque clamoribus 
personat ; nam nee ipse meorum lusibus nee illi 
studiis meis obstrepunt. 

Haee utilitas, haec amoenitas deficitur aqua sali- 
enti, sed puteos ac potius fontes habet ; sunt enim in 
summo. Et omnino litoris illius mira natura. Quocun- 
que loco moveris humum, obvius et paratus umor 
occurrit isque sincerus ac ne leviter quidem tanta 
mai-is vicinitate salsus. Suggerunt adfatim ligna pro- 
ximae silvae ; ceteras copias Ostiensis colonia mini- 
strat. Frugi quidem homini sufficit etiam vicus, querji 
una- villa discernit. In hoc balinea meritoria tria, 
magna commoditas, si forte balineum domi vel subitus 
adventus vel brevior mora calefacere dissuadeat. 

Litus ornant varietate gratissima nunc continua 
nunc intermissa tecta villarum^ quae praestant mul- 

BOOK II. xvii 

space, every noise is drowned. Annexed, is a small 
stove-room, which, by opening a little window, warms 
tlie bed-chamber to the degree of heat required. 
Beyond this lie a chamber and ante-chamber which 
catch the rising sun and enjoy it, though obliquely 
indeed, till the afternoon. When I retire to tkis 
garden-apartment, I fancy myself a hundred miles 
from my own house, and take particular pleasure in 
it at the feast of the Saturnalia, when, by the licence 
of that season of joy, every other part of my villa 
resounds with the mirth of my domestics : thus I 
neither interrupt their diversions, nor they my 

Among the pleasures and conveniences of this 
situation, there is one disadvantage, and that is, 
the want of a rumiing stream ; but this defect is 
in a great measure supplied by wells, or rather I 
should call them springs, for they rise very near the 
surface. And indeed the quality of this coast is 
pretty remarkable ; for in what part soever you dig, 
you meet, upon the first turning up of the ground, 
with a spring of pure water, not in the least salt, 
though so near the sea. The neighbouring forests 
afford an abundant supply of fuel ; every other con- 
venience of life may be had from Ostia : to a moderate 
man, indeed, even the next village (between which 
and my house there is only one villa) would furnish 
all common necessaries. In that little place there 
are no less than three public baths ; which is a great 
convenience if one happens to arrive home unexpec- 
tedly, or make too short a stay to allow time for 
preparing my own. 

The whole coast is beautifully diversified by the 
joining or detached villas that are spread upon it, 


M 2 


tarum urbium facit-ni, sive mari sive ipso litore utare ; 
quod non numquam longa tranquillitas moUit, saepius 
frequens et contrarius fluctus indurat. Mare non sane 
pretiosis piscibus abundat, soleas tamen et squillas 
optimas suggerit. Villa vero nostra etiam mediter- 
raneas copias praestat, lac in primis ; nam illuc e 
pascuis pecora conveniunt, si quando aquam um- 
branive ^ sectantur. 

Justisne de causis cum tibi videor incolere, inhabi- 
tare, diligere secessum ? quem tu nimis urbanus es 
nisi concupiseis. Atque utinani concupiseas ! ut tot 
tantisque dotibus villulae nostrae maxima comnien- 
datio ex tuo contubernio accedat. Vale. 


C. Plinius Maurico Suo S. 

Quid a te iucundius mihi potuit iniungi, quam 
ut praeceptorem fratris tui liberis quaererem ? Nam 
beneficio tuo in scholam redeo, illam dulcissimam 
aetatem quasi resumo ; sedeo inter iuvenes, ut 
solebam, atque etiam experior, quantum apud illos 
auctoritatis ex studiis habeam. Nam proxime fre- 

* umbramve M Va, umbramque Hicc. F. 

BOOK II. xvii.-xviii 

which whether you are travelling along the sea or 
the shore, have the effect of a series of towns. The 
shore is sometimes, after a long calm, loose and 
yielding to the feet, though in general, by the winds 
driving the waves upon it, it is compact and finn. 
I cannot boast that our sea produces the more costly 
sorts of fish ; however, it supplies us with exceeding 
fine soles and prawns ; but as to provisions of other 
kinds, my villa pretends to equal even inland 
countries, particularly in milk ; for thither the cattle 
come from the meadows in great numbers when- 
ever they seek shade or water. 

Tell me now, have I not just cause to bestow my 
time and my affection upon this agreeable retreat? 
Surely you are unreasonably attached to the pleasures 
of the town, if you have no hankering after it ; as 
I much wish you ha.d, that to so many charms with 
which my favourite villa abounds, it might have 
the very considerable addition of your presence to 
recommend it. Farewell. 


To Mauricus 

What can be more agreeable to me, than the 
office you have enjoined me, of finding a tutor for 
your nephews? It gives me an opportunity of re- 
visiting the scene of my education, and of turning 
back again, as it were, to the most pleasing part 
of my life. I take my seat, as formerly, among the 
young lads, and have the pleasure to experience the i-e- 
spect my character in eloquence meets with from them. 
I lately came in upon them, while they were loudly 



quenti .luditorio inter se coram multis ordinis nostri 
clare loquebantur ; ^ intravi, conticuerunt ; quod non 
referrem, nisi ad illorum magis laudem quam ad 
meam pertineret, ac nisi «perare te vellem posse 
fratris tui filios probe discere. Quod suj)erest, cum 
omnes, qui profitentur, audiero, quid de quoque 
sentianij scribain efficiamque, quantum tamenepistula 
consequi potero, ut ipse omnes audisse videaris. 

Debeo enini tibi, debeo memoriae fratris tui hanc 
fidem, hoc studium, praesei'tim super tanta re. Nam 
quid magis interest vestra^ quam ut liberi (dieerem 
i,uij-Hist^tinc illos magis amares) digni illo patre, te 
patruo reperiantur j!'\^quam curam mihi, etiamsi non 
mandasses, vindicassem. Nee ignoro suscipiendas 
offensas in eligendo praeceptore, sed oportet me non 
modo ofFensaSj veruni etiam simultates pro fratris tui 
filiis tarn ae(}uo aninio subire quam parentes pro suis. 
^ (ValO 


iS' C. Plinius Cereali Soo S. 

HoRTARiSj ut orationem amicis pluribus recitem. 
Faciam, quia hortaris, quamvis vehementer addubi- 
tem. Neque enim me praeterit actiones, quae 

» MV, K.II, iocabantur RFDpra, K\ Mull. 
1 66 

BOOK II. xviii.-xix 

conversing in presence of a large company of my 
own rank ; the moment I appeared, they were silent. 
I mention this for their honour, rather than my own ; 
and to let you see the just hopes you may conceive 
of your nephews obtaining a truly moral education. 
I purpose to hear all the several professors ; and 
when I have done so, I shall write you such an 
account of them, as will make you (as far as a letter 
can do it) imagine you have heard them yourself. 

The faithful and zealous execution of so important 
a commission, is what I owe to the friendship that 
subsists between us, and to the memory of your 
brother. Nothing, certainly, is more your concern, 
than that his children (I would have said yours, but \ y 
that I know you now look upon them even with / ^^^ 
more tenderness than your own) may be found 
worthy of such a father, and such an uncle ; and I 
should have claimed a part in that care, though you had \ 
not charged me with it. I am sensible, in choosing />\ 
a preceptor I shall draw upon me the displeasure of 
all the rest of that profession : but when the interest 
of these young men is concerned, I esteem it my 
duty to hazard the displeasure, or even enmity of 
any man, with as much resolution as a parent would 
for his own children. Farewell. 


T(j Cerealis 

You advise me to recite my late speech before an 
assembly of my friends. I shall do so, since you 
advise it, though I have many scruples about it. 
For speeches delivered in court lose, I well know, 



recitantur, impetum omnem caloremque ac prope 
nomen suum perdere, ut quas soleant commendare 
simul et accendere iudicum consessus, celebi'itas 
advocatorum, exspectatio eventus, fama non unius 
actoris diductiiinque in partes audientium stiidium, 
ad hoc dicentis gestus, incessus, discursus etiam 
omnibusque motibus animi consentaneus vigor cor- 
poris. Unde accidit, ut hi, qui sedentes agunt, 
quamvis illis maxima ex parte supersint eadem ilia 
quae stantibus, tamen hoc, quod sedent, quasi debili- 
tentur et depriniantur. Recitantium vero praecipua 
pronuntiationis adiumenta, oculi, manus praepedi- 
untur. Quo minus mirum est, si auditorum intentio 
languescit nullis extrinsecus aut blandimentis capta 
aut aculeis excitata. 

His accedit, quod oratio, de qua loquor, pugnax 
et contentiosa est. Porro ita natura comparatum 
est, ut ea, quae scripsimus cum labore, cum labore 
etiam audiri putemus. Et sane quotus quisque tam 
rectus auditor, quern non [)otius dulcia haec et 
sonantia quam austera et |)ressa delectent .'' Est 
quidem omnino turpis ista discordia, est tamen, quia^ 
plerumque evenit, ut aliud auditores, aliud indices 
exigant, cum alioqui lis ^ j)raecipue auditor adfici 
debeat, quibus idem, si foret index, maxime per- 

' quia, M V, K, quae Rice. Fa, quod pr. 
* cum alioqui iis, K, his M V. 

" Cicero and Quintilian have laid down rules how far, and 
in what instances, this liberty was allowable. The latter 
mentions a witticism of Flavins Virginius, who asked one of 

1 68 

BOOK II. xix 

all their fire and force, and even almost their very 
name, by a recital. It is the array of jurors, the con- 
course of the bar, the suspense as to the event, the 
reputation of the rival orators concerned, the differ- 
ent parties formed amon2;st the audience in their 
favour ; furthermore, it is the gestures, the gait, and 
even the striding to and fro of the speaker, whose 
energetic frame harmoniously interprets his every 
emotion,'* which conspire to give a grace and spirit 
to what he delivers. Hence those who sit when 
they plead, though they have most of the advantages 
I just now mentioned in common with those who 
stand, yet from that single circumstance, weaken 
and depress the whole force of their eloquence. 
But when a speech is read, the eyes and hands of 
the reader, those important instruments of graceful 
elocution, being engaged, it is no wonder the hearer 
grows languid, while he has no external cliarms to 
captivate, or spurs to excite his attention. 

To these general considerations, I must add that 
the speech in question is polemical and controversial, 
and, moreover, we instinctively suspect that what we 
wrote with labour will not be read with pleasure. 
For who is there so unprejudiced, as not to prefer 
the flowing and florid oration to one in the close and 
unornamented style? It is very unseemly there 
should be this discrepancy ; however, there it is ; the 
reason being that juries generally expect one manner 
of pleading, and audiences another ; whereas in truth 
an audience ought to be affected only with those 
things which would strike them most were they in 
the place of the jury. 

these oratois " Qnol milia passuum dedavmsset ? " "How 
many milts he had declaimed." (Melm.) 



Potest tamen fieri, ut quamquam in his difficultati- 
bus libro isti novitas lenocinetur, novitas ajjud nostros ; 
apud Graecos enim est quiddam quaravis ex diverso, 
non tamen omnino dissimile. /Nam, ut illis erat moris 
leges, quas ut contrarias prioribus legibus arguebant, 
aliarum collatione convincere, ita nobis inesse re- 
petundarum legi, quod postularemus, cum hac ipsa 
lege turn aliis colligendum fuit ; quod nequaquam 
blandum auribus imperitorum tanto maiorem apud 
doctos habere gratiam debet, quanto minorem apud 
indoctos habet. Nos autem, si placuerit recitai-e, 
adhibituri sumus eruditissimum quemque. Sed plane 
adhuc, an sit recitandum, examina tecum, omnesque, 
quos ego movi, in utraque parte calculos pone idque 
elige, in quo vicerit ratio. A te enim ratio exigetur, 
nos excusabit obsequium. Vale. 


C, Plinius Calvisio Suo S. 

AssEM para et accipe auream fabulam, fabulas 
immo ; nam me priorum nova admonuit, nee re- 
fert, a qua potissimum incipiam. 

<* Some think this speech was that which Pliny delivered 
in the Senate against M. Prisons. See Letter xi. of this 
book. (Melm.) 

* This eeems to have been the cry of the wandering story- 

170 . 

BOOK II. xix.-xx 

Nevertheless it is possible the objections whicli 
lie against this piece may be got over^ by the attrac- 
tion of its novelty — novelty, I mean, with respect to 
us ; for the Greek oi*ators have a method, though 
inversely ^applied, not altogether unlike what I made 
use of. (They, when they would throw out a law, as 
conti-ary to some former one, habitually proved this 
by the analogy of other laws^^^sunilaxly, I endeavoured 
to prove that the indictment I was putting forward " 
came within the provisions of the law relating to 
public extortions, by inference not only from that 
law itself, but from others. Those who are not 
experts, can have no taste for reasonings of this 
kind ; but those who are, ought to be so much 
the more pleased with them. I shall endeavour 
therefore, if you persist in my reciting it to collect 
a judicious audience. But before you determine 
this point, I entreat you tlioroughly to weigh the 
difficulties I have laid before you, cast up both 
sides of the account, and then decide according to 
the balance. For yoti will be expected to render a 
reckoning, whereas obedience to your commands 
will be a sufficient apology for me. Farewell. 


To Calvtsius 

" Pay a penny, and I'll tell you a golden tale " '' 
— nay, two or three, for one brings to my mind 
another. 'Tis no matter which I begin with, so 
take them as follows. 

tellers who gained their livelihood by gathering an audience 
around them in public places, and amusing the gaping 
multitude bj' popular traditionary tales, or wonderful 
stories of their own invention. (,Alehn.) 



Verania Pisonis graviter iacebat, huius dico Pisonis, 
quern Galba adoptavit. Ad banc Regulus venit. Pri- 
mum impudentiam hominis, qui venerit ad aegram, 
cuius niarito inimicissimuSj ipsi invisissimus fuerat ! 
EstOj si venit tantum ; at ille etiam proximus toro 
sedit, quo die, qua bora nata esset interrogavit. Ubi 
audiit, componit vultum, intendit oculos, niovet 
labra, agitat digitos, computat ; nibil. Ut diu 
miseram exspectatione suspendit, ' Habes,' iuquit, 
' cliraactericum tenipus^ sed evades. Quod ut tibi 
magis Uqueat, Iiaruspicem consulam, queni sum 
frequenter expertus.' Nee mora, sacrificium facit, 
adfirmat exta cum siderum significatione congruere. 
Ilia ut in periculo credula poscit codicillos, legatiini 
Regulo sci-ibit. Mox ingravescit ; clamat morieus, 
' O bominem nequam, perfidum, ac plus etiam 
quam periurum ! ' qui sibi per salutem filii peierasset. 
Facit boc Regulus non minus scelerate quam fre- 
quenter, quod iram deorum, quos ipse quotidie fallitj 
in caput infelicis pueri detestatur. 

Velleius Blaesus, ille locuples consularis, novissima 
valetudine conflictabatur. Cupiebat mutare testa - 


Verania, the wife of that Piso who was adopted 
by Galba, lay extremely ill : upon this occasion 
Regulus made her a visit. By the way, mark the 
assurance of the man, to visit a sick lady to whom 
lie was so extremely odious, and to whose husband 
he was a declared enemy I Even barely to enter 
her house would have been impudent enough ; but 
he had the confidence to go much farther, and verv 
familiarly placed himself by her beds side. He 
began with inquiring what day and hour she was born : 
Being informed of these particulars, he composes his 
countenance, fixes his eyes, mutters something to 
himself, counts on his fingers ; nothing comes of it. 
After keeping the poor lady on tenterhooks, " You 
are," says he, "in one of your climacterics; however, 
you will get over it. But for your greater satis- 
faction, L will consult with a certain diviner, whose 
skill I have frequently experienced." Accordingly 
away he goes, sacrifices, and returns with the strong- 
est assurances that inspection of the victim's entrails 
confirmed what he had predicted by astrology. Upon 
this the good woman, made credulous by her danger- 
ous state, calls for her will, and gives Regulus a hand- 
some legacy. Some time afterwards her distemper 
increased ; and in her last moments she exclaimed 
against this perfidious, worse than perjured, wretch, 
who had wished every curse might befall his son, 
if what he promised her was not true. But such 
sort of imprecations are as common with Regulus as 
they are impious; and he continually devotes that 
unhappy youth to the curses of those gods by whom 
he swears falsely every day. 

Velleius Blaesus, a person of consular dignity and 
remarkable for his immense wealth, in his last sick- 



mentum. Regulus, qui speraret aliquid ex novis 
tabulis, ([Ilia niiper caj)tare eum coeperat, medicos 
Iiortarij ro<i,arCj quoquo modo spiritum homini pro- 
rogarent. Postquam signatum est testamentum, 
mutat personam, vertit adlocutionem isdemque 
medicis : ' Quousque miseriim cruciatis ? Quid in- 
videtis bonam mortem, cui dare vitam non potestis ? ' 
Moritur Blaesus et, tamquam omnia audisset, Regulo 
ne tantulum quidem. 

Sufficiunt duae fabulae, an scholastica lege tertiani 
poscis ? est, unde fiat. 

Aurelia, ornata femina, signatura testamentum 
sumpserat pulcherrimas tunicas. Regulus cum veuis- 
set ad signandum, ' Rogo,' inquit, 'has mihi leges.' 
Aurelia Uidere hominem putabat, ille serio instabat ; 
ne multa, coegit mulierem aperire tabulas ac sibi 
tunicas, quas erat induta, legare ; observavit scri- 
bentem, inspexit, an scripsisset. Et Aurelia quidem 
vivit, ille tamen istud tamquam moritiiram coegit. 
Et hie hereditates, hie legata, quasi mereatur, 
accipit ! 
I' A\Xa Ti SiaTeivofiai in ea civitate, in qua iampridem 

" The rhetoricians of tlie period set the fashion of using 
triplets in composition. 

* This was an act of great ceremony, and the gala dress of 
Roman ladies being exceedingly costly, the legacy Regnkis 
had the impudence to ask must have been considerable. 





ness had an inclination to make some alterations in 
his will. Regulus, who had lately endeavom'ed to 
insinuate himself into his friendship, hoped to receive 
some advantage by the intended change, and ac- 
cordingly applies himself to his physiiians, and con- 
jures them to exert all their skill to prolong the poor 
man's life. But the moment the will was signed, his 
role and style were changed : " How long," says he 
to these very physicians, " do you design to keep 
this poor fellow in misery ? Since you cannot pre- 
serve his life, why grudge him an easy death.''" 
Blaesus is since dead ; and as if he had overheard 
every word that Regulus had said, he has not left 
him one farthing. 

Will two stoi'ies serve you, or must you have 
a third, according to the canon of tlie schools ?" 
If so, Regulus will supply you. 

You must know then, tliat Aurelia, a lady of 
property, designing to execute her will, had 
dressed herself for that purpose in a very 
splendid manner.'' Regulus, who was present as a 
witness, turned about to tlie lady, and, " Pray," says 
he, "leave me these fine clothes." Aurelia at first 
thought him in jest ; but he insisted upon it very 
seriously, and, to make a long story short, obliged 
her to open her will, and insert this legacy ; and 
though he saw her write it, yet he Avould not be 
satisfied till he read the clause himself However 
Aurelia is still alive ; though Regulus forced her to 
make this bequest, as though her death were im- 
minent. And yet legacies and estates are conferred 
upon this abandoned man as if he really deserved 
them ! 

But why should 1 fret myself at this in a city 



non minora praemia, immo maiora nequitia et irnpro- 
bitas quam piulor et virtus habent ? Aspice Regulum, 
qui ex paupere et tenui ad tantas opes per flagitia 
processit, ut ipse mihi dixerit, cum consuleret, quam 
cito sestertium sescenties impleturus esset, inve- 
nisse se exta duplicia, quibus portendi, milies 
et ducenties habiturum. Et habebit, si modo, ut 
coepit, aliena testamenta, quod est improbissimum 
genus falsi, ipsis, quorum sunt ilia, dictaverit 



where impudence and iniquity have long received the 
same, do I say, even greater encouragement than 
modesty and virtue ? Regulus is a glaring instance 
of this truth, who, from a state of indigence, has, by 
a train of the most villainous actions, arrived to such 
immense riches, that he once told me himself, upon 
consulting the omens to know how soon he should be 
worth sixty millions of sesterces, he found a double 
liver within the sacrificial victim, which portended 
that he should possess double that sum. And so he 
will, if he continues thus to dictate wills for other 
people ; a sort of forgery, in my estimation, of all 
others the most infamous. Farewell. 


VOL. I. N 


n S 


C. Pi-iN'ius Calvisio Rufo^ Suo S. 

Nescio, an iillum iucundius temjnis exegeiini^ (juani 
quo miper apud Spurinnam fui, adeo quidem, ut 
neniinem niagis in senectute, si modo senescere 
datum est, aeraulari velim ; nihil est enim illo vitae 
genera distinctius. Me autem ut certus siderum 
cursus ita vita hominum disposita delectat, senum 
praesertim. Nam iuvenes confusa adhuo quaedam 
et quasi turbata non indecent, senibus plaeida omnia 
et ordinata conveniunt, quibus industria sera, turpis 
ambitio est. 

Hanc regulam Spurinna constantissime servat : 
quin etiam parva liaec, parva, si non cotidie 
fiant, ordine quodam et velut orbe circumagit. 
Mane lectulo continetur, hora secunda calceos poscit, 
ambulat milia passuum tria nee minus animum quam 
corpus exercet. Si adsunt amici, honestissimi ser- 
mones explicantur ; si non, liber legitur, interduni 

> RuFO add. Havet ex Rice. 


To Calvisius Runs 

I NEVER spent my time more agreeably, I think, 
than I did lately with Spurinna. I was so much 
j)leased with his Avay of life, tliat if ever I should 
arrive at old age, there is no man whom I would 
sooner choose for my model. I look upon order in 
human actions, especially at that advanced period, 
with the same sort of pleasure as I behold the settled 
course of the heavenly bodies. In youth, indeed, a 
certain irregularity and agitation is by no means 
unbecoming ; but in age, when business is unseason- 
able, and ambition indecent, all should be calm and 

Spurinna religiously pursues the above rule of 
life, nay even in the details 1 shall describe, which 
one might call minute and inconsiderable did they 
not occur every day, he observes a certain periodical 
season and method. The first part of the morning 
he keeps his bed ; at eight he calls for his shoes, and 
walks three miles, in which he enjoys at once con- 
templation and exercise. Meanwhile, if he has any 
friends with him in his house, he enters upon some 
pohte and useful topic of conversation ; if he is alone, 
somebody reads to him ; and sometimes, too, nhen 


etiam pracsciitibus amicis, si tamen illi non gravaiitiir. 
Deiiitlc considit, et liber rursus aut sermo libro 
potior; mox vehiculum ascendit, adsumit uxorein 
singularis exempli vel aliquem amicorum, ut me 
proxime. Quam pulchrum illud, quam dulce se- 
cretum ! quantum ibi antiquitatis ! quae facta, quos 
vires audias ! quibus ])raeceptis imbuare ! quamvis 
ille hoc temperamentum modestiae suae indixerit, 
ne pi'aecipere videatur. Peractis septem milibus 
passuum iterum ambulat mille, iterum residet vel 
se cubiculo ;ic stilo reddit. Scribit enim et quidcin 
utraque lingua lyrica doctissime ; mira illis dulcedo, 
mira suavitas, mira hilaritas, cuius gratiam cumulat 
sanctitas scribentis. 

Ubi hora balinei nuntiata est (est autem hieme 
nona, aestate octava), in sole, si caret vento, ambulat 
nudus. Deinde movetur pila vehementer et diu ; 
nam hoc (juoque exercitationis genere pugnat cum 
senectute. Lotus accubat et paulisper cibum diff'ert ; 
interim audit legentem remissius aliquid et dulcius. 
Per hoc onme tempus liberum est amicis vel eadem 


he is not, if it is agreeable to his company. When * 
this is over, he reposes himself, and again takes 
up a book, or else falls into discourse more im- 
proving than a book. He afteryi^ards takes the air 
in his chariot, either with his wife (a lady of 
exemplary character) or with some friend ; a happi- 
ness which lately was mine. How agreeable, how 
noble is the enjoyment of him in that hour of 
privacy ! You would fancy you were hearing some 
worthy of ancient times, inflaming your breast with 
the most heroic examples, and instructing your mind 
with the most exalted precepts, which yet he delivers 
with such an infusion of his native modesty, that 
there is not the least appearance of dictating in his 
conversation. When he has thus taken a tour of 
seven miles, he gets out of his chariot and walks a 
mile more, after which he either reposes himself, or 
retires to his study and pen. For he is an accom- 
plished writer of lyric verse, and that both in Greek 
and Latin. It is surprising what an ease and spirit 
of gaiety runs through his verses, which the moral 
virtue of the author renders still more acceptable. 

When the baths are ready, which in winter is 
about three o'clock, and in summer about two, he 
undresses himself; and if there happens to be no 
wind, he walks about in the sun. After this he puts 
himself into prolonged and violent motion at playing 
ball : for by this sort of exercise, too, he combats the 
effects of old age. When he has bathed, he throws 
himself on his couch and waits dinner a little while, 
and in the meanwhile some agreeable and entertain- 
ing author is read to him. In this, as in all the rest, 
his fi'iends are at full liberty to partake ; or to 
employ themselves in any other manner more suitable 



facere vel alia, si malint. Adponitur cena non minus 
nitida quam frugi in argento puro et antiquo ; sunt in 
usu et Corinthia, quibus delectatur nee adficitur. Fre 
quenter comoedis cena distinguitur, ut voluptates 
quoqiie studiis condiantur. Sumit aliquid de nocte et 
aestate. Nemini hoc longum est ; tanta comitate con- 
vivium trahitur. Inde illi post septimum et septua- 
gensimum annum aurium oculorumque vigor integer, 
inde agile et vividum corpus solaque ex senectute 

Hanc ego vitam voto et cogitatioue praesumo 
ingressurus avidissime, ut primum ratio aetatis re- 
cept ui c anere permiserit. Interim mille laboribus 
conteror, quorum mihi et solacium et exemplum est 
idem Spurinna ; nam ille quoque, quoad honestum 
fuit, obiit officia, gessit magistratus, provincias rexit 
multoque labore hoc otium meruit. Igitur eundem 
mihi cursum, eundem terminum statuo idque iam 
nunc apud te subsigno, ut, si me longius evehi 
videris, in ius voces ad hanc epistulam meam et 
quiescere iubeas, cum inertiae crimen effugero. 


BOOK in. i 

to their taste. You sit down to an elegant, yet 
frugal repast, which is served up in plain and antique 
])late. He uses likewise dishes of Corinthian bronze, 
which is his hobby, not his passion. At intervals 
of the repast he is frequently entertained with 
comedians, that even his very pleasures may be 
seasonedi with letters ; and though he continues 
there, even in summer, till the night is somewhat 
advanced, yet he prolongs the sitting over the wine 
with so much affability and politeness, that none of 
his guests ever think it tedious. By this method of 
living he has preserved his sight and hearing entire, 
and his body active and vigorous to his 78th year, 
without discovering any appearance of old age, but 
the wisdom. 

This is the sort of life which I ardently aspire 
after ; as I purpose to enjoy it, when I shall arrive at 
those years wiiich will justify a retreat from business. 
In the meanwhile, I am harassed wilh a thousand 
affairs, in wliich Spurinna is at once my support and 
my example. For he too, as long as it became him, 
fulfilled the duties of public life, held the various 
offices of state, governed provinces, and by indefatig- 
able toil merited the repose he now enjoys. I 
propose to myself the same course and the same 
term ; and I give it to you under my hand that 
I do so, in order that, should you see me carried 
beyond that limit, you may produce this letter 
against me ; and sentence me to repose whenever I 
can enjoy it without being charged with indolence. 



C. Plinius Vinioi Maximo Suo S. 

Quoo ipse amicis tuis obtulissem, si mihi eadem 
materia suppeteret, id nunc iure videor a ^te meis 
petiturus. Arrianus Maturus Altinatium est princeps ; 
cum dico princeps, non de facultatibus loquor, quae 
illi large supersunt, sed de castitate, iustitia, gravi- 
tate, prudentia. Huius ego consilio in negotiis, 
iudicio in studiis utor; nam plurimum fide, plurimum 
veritate, plurimum intellegentia praestat. Amat me, 
nihil possum ai-dentius dicere, ut tu. Caret ambitu ; 
ideo se in equestri gradu tenuit, cum facile posset 
ascendere altissimum. 

Mihi tamen ornandus excolendusque est. Itaque 
magni aestimo dignitati eius aliquid adstruere in- 
opinantis, nescientis, immo etiam fortasse nolentis, 
adstruere autem, quod sit splendidum nee molestum. 
Cuius generis, quae prima occasio tibi, conferas in 
eum rogo; habebis me, habebis ipsum gratissimum 
debitorem. Quamvis enim ista non adpetat, tam 
grate tamen excipit, quam si concupiscat. Vale. 
' ViBio add. Havet ex Rice. 

" Altinum was a town on the Adriatic coast, near Venice. 
1 86 



To ViBius Maximus 

I THINK I may claim a right to ask the same 
services of you for my friends, as I would offer to 
yours if I were in your station. Arriaiius Maturus 
is a pei-son of great eminence among the Alti- 
nates. « When I call him so, it is not with respect 
to his fortunes (which, however, are very consider- 
able) ; it is in viev,- to the purity, the integrity, the 
prudence, and the gravity of his manners. His 
counsel steers me in my affairs, and his judgement 
directs me in my studies ; for trutli, honour and 
understanding, are the shining qualities which mark 
his character. He loves me (and I cannot express 
his affection in stronger terms) with a tenderness 
equal to yours. As he is a stranger to ambition, he 
has contentedly remained in the Equestrian order, 
when he might easily have advanced himself into 
the highest rank. 

It behoves me, however, to take care he be 
advanced and ennobled ; and I would fain without his 
knowledge or expectation, nay, even perhaps con- 
trary to his inclination, add to his dignity. But 
the post I would obtain for him should be something 
very honourable, and attended with no trouble. I 
beg when anything of that nature offers, you would 
confer it on him ; it will be an obligation, which 
both he and I shall ever remember with the greatest 
gratitude. For though he has no aspiring wishes 
to satisfy, he will be as sensible of the favour, as if 
he had received it in consequence of his own desires. 




Cum, patrem tiium, gravissiniiim ct sanctissimuni 
virum, suspcxerira niagis an amaverim, dubitem 
teque in menioriam eius et in honorem tiiiiin unicc 
diligani;, ciipiani neccsse est atque etiam, quantum 
in me fuerit, enitar, ut filius tiius avo similis exsistat, 
equidem nialo, materno ; quamquam illi paternus 
etiam clarus spectatiisque contigerit ; pater qiioque 
et patruus illustri laude conspicui. Quibus omni 
bus ita demum similis adulescet, si imbutus honestis 
artibus fuerit, quas plurimum referta quo potissinuim 

Adhuc ilium pueritiae ratio intra contubernium 
tuum tenuit, praeceptores domi habuit, ubi esterrori- 
bus vel modica vel etiam nulla materia. lam studia 
eius extra limen proferenda sunt, lam circumspicien- 
dus rhetor Latinus, cuius scholae severitas, pudor, in 
primis"'castitas, constet. Adest enim iidulescenti 
nostro cum ceteris naturae fortunaeque dotibus exi- 
mia corporis pulcliritudo, cui in hoclubricoaetatis non 
praeceptor modo, sed custos etiam rectorque quaeren- 
dus est. 

" Corellius Rufus. See i. 12. 
1 83 

BOOK III. iii 

To Cor ELM A Hispulla 

It is not easy to determine whetlier my love or 
esteem were greater, for that grave and saintly 
man vour father ; * while both in respect to his 
memorvj and yom- own virtues, I have the tenderest 
value for you. Can I fail then to wish^ and by every 
means in my power endeavour, that your son may 
grow to resemble his paternal, or (better still, to my 
thinking) his maternal grandfather ? Though I 
express this preference, 1 am well aware his pateimal 
grandfather was a man of great note and celebrity, 
as his father and father's brother v.ere also of the 
highest distinction. The one method to train him 
up in the likeness of these valuable men is early to 
season his mind with polite learning and useful 
knowledge : and it is of the last consequence from 
whom he receives these instructions. 

Hitherto, as is the rule with children, he has 
lived in your society, and had teacliers at home, 
where he is exposed to few, I should i-ather say to 
no temptations. But he is now of an age for 
outdoor schooling, and it is time to look about 
for some professor of Rlietoric whose discipline and 
method, but above all whose morals, are well known. 
Amongst the many advantages for which our dear 
lad is indebted to nature and fortune, he has that of 
a most beautiful person ; it is necessary, therefore, 
at this dangerous period of life, to find out one 
who will not only be his tutor, but his guardian 
and his guide. 



Videor ergo demoiistiare tibi posse lulium Geni 
tt)rem. Arnatur a ine ; iudicio tamen nieo noii obstat 
caritas hominisj quae ex iudicio nata est. Vir est 
emendatus et gravis, paulo etiam horridior at durior 
ut in hac licentia teniporuni. Quantum eloquentia 
valeat, pluribus credere potes ; nam dicendi facultas 
aperta et exposita statim cernitur. Vita hominum 
altos recessus magnasque latebras liabet ; cuius pro 
Genitore me sponsorem accipe. Nihil ex hoc viro 
filius tuus audiet nisi profuturum, nihil discet, quod 
nescisse rectius fuerit, nee minus saepe ab illo quam 
ate meque adnionebiku", quibus inuiginibus oneretur, 
quae nomina et quanta sustineat. 

Proinde faventibus diis trade eum praeceptori, a 
quo mores primum, mox eloquentiam discat, quae 
male sine moribus discitur. Vale. 

C. Plinius Caecilio^ Macrino Suo S. 

QuAMVis et amici, quos praesentes habebam, et 
sermones hominum factum meum comprobasse vide- 
antur, magni tamen aestimo scire, quid sentias tu. 

' Caecilio add. Havel ex Eicc. 

BOOK III. iii.-iv 

I will venture to recommend Julius Genitor to 
you under that character. I love him, I confess : 
but my affection does by no means prejudice my 
judgement, on the contrary, it is in truth the effect 
of it. His behaviour is grave, and his morals irre- 
proachable ; perhaps something too severe and rigid 
for the libertine manners of these times. His quali- 
fications in his profession you may learn from many 
others ; for eloquence, as it is open to all the world, 
is soon discovered : but character lies more con- 
cealed, and out of the reach of common observa- 
tion ; and it is on that side I undertake to be answer- 
able for my friend. Your son will hear nothing from 
this worthy man, but what will be for his advantage 
to know, nor learn anything of which it would be 
fitter he should be ignorant. He will represent to 
him as often, and with as much zeal as you or I 
should, what a glorious weight of ancestral reputa- 
tion he has to support. 

Pray, then, under the happiest auspices, place him 
with a tutor whose first care will be to form his 
manners, and afterwards to instruct him in eloquence ; 
an attainment ill-acquired if with the neglect of 
moral improvements. Farewell. 

To Caecilius Macrinus 

Though my friends here, as well as the town in 
general, seem to approve of my conduct in the affair 
I am going to mention, yet I set great store upon 
knowing your sentiments ; and as I wished for your 


thp: letters of pliny 

Nam, cuius Integra re consilium exquiiere optassem, 
huius etiani pcracta iudicium nosse rnire concupiseo. 

Cum publicum opus mea pecunia inchoaturus 
in Tuscos excucurrissem accept o ut praefectus 
aerari commeatu, legati provinciae Baeticae questuri 
de proconsulatu Caecili Classici advocatum me a 
senatu petierunt. Collegae optimi meique aman- 
tissimi de communis officii necessitatibus praelo- 
cuti excusare me et eximere temptarunt. Factum est 
senatus consultuni perquam honorificum, ut darer 
provincialibus patronus, si ab ipso me impetrassent. 
Legati rursus inducti iterum me iam praesentem advo- 
catum postulaverunt implorantes fidem meam, quam 
essent contra Massam Baebium experti, adlegantes 
patrocinii foedus. Secuta est clarissima senatus 
adsensio, quae solet decreta praecurrere. Turn ego 
'Desino/ inquam, 'patres conscripti, putare me iustas 
excusationis causas attnlisse.' Placuit et modestia 
sermonis et ratio. 

Compulit autem me ad hoc consilium non solum 
consensus senatus, quamquam hie maxime, verum 
etiam alii quidam minores, sed tamen numeri. Venie- 

" See X. 8. * Now Andalusia. • See iv. 3.3. 


advice before I engaged in it, so I am vastly desirous 
of your judgement now it is over. 

Having obtained leave absent from my office 
as head otTRe'treasury, I went into Tuseany to look 
after a public woi'k which I am carrying on there at 
my own expense.'' In the interval, deputies from 
the Province of Baetica^ arrived, to complain of 
some grievances they had suffered under the govern- 
ment of Caecilius Classicus ; and applied to the 
Senate that I might be appointed counsel for them. 
My very worthy and obliging colleagues represented 
on my behalf, the necessary engagements of our 
office, and endeavoured all they could to get me 
excused. Upon this the Senate passed a decree 
greatly to my honour ; they ordered that I should 
be counsel for the province, provided the deputies 
could obtain my consent. At my return they 
were again introduced into the Senate, and there 
renewed their petition in my presence. They 
asked ray protection, which they had experienced 
when 1 was their counsel against Baebius," and 
alleged tlieir claim upon me as my clients. I per- 
ceived the Senate was inclined to grant this petition 
by that unmistakable applause which is the usual 
forerunner of all their decrees. Whereupon I rose 
up and told the house that I no longer insisted upon 
the reasonableness of the excuse I had alleged : and 
they were pleased alike with the purport and the 
respectful modesty of my answer. 

I was determined in this resolution, not only 
because I found it agreeable to the inclinations of 
the Senate (which indeed had great weight with 
me), but for many other, though less important, con- 
siderations. I reflected that our ancestors thought 

VOL. (. a 


bat in mentem priores nostros etiam singiiloriim hos- 
pitum iniurias accusationibus voluntariis exsecutos; 
quo deformius arbitrabar public! hospitii iura negle- 
gere. Praeterea cum recordarer, quanta pro isdem 
Baeticis priore advocatione etiam pericula subissem, 
conservandum veteris officii meritum novo videbatur. 
Est enim ita comparatum, ut antiquiora beneficia 
slibvertas, nisi ilia posterioribus cumules. Nam quam- 
libet saepe obligati, si quid unum neges, hoc solum 
meminerunt, quod negatum est. Ducebar etiam; 
quod decesserat Classicus, amotumque erat, quod in 
eiusmodi causis solet esse tristissimumj periculum 
senatoris. Videbam ergo advocation! meae non 
minorem gratiam, quam si viveret ille^ propositam, 
invidiam nullam. In summa computabam, si munere 
hoc iam tertio fungerer^ faciliorem mihi excusationem 
fore, si quis incidisset, quern non deberem accusare. 
Nam, cum est omnium officiorum finis aliquis, turn 
optime libertati venia obsequio praeparatur. 

Audisti consilii mei motus ; superest alterutra ex 
parte iudicium tuum, in quo mihi aeque iucunda erit 
simplicitas dissentientis quam comprobantis auctoritas. 

" He had already prosecuted two provincial governors ; 
Baebius Massa in 93 or 94 a.d. , and Marius Priscus (see ii. 
II) in 100 A.D. The next year, the Baetici .sought his 
assistance to impeach Claudius, on whose trial see iii. 9, 



themselves obliged to engage voluntarily in defence 
of even particular persons, with whom they were 
united by the ties of hospitality, and that therefore 
it would be the more ungenerous to abandon a 
collective body, to whom I stood in the same relation. 
Besides, when I considered the danger as well as the 
fatigue I went thi-ough in the last cause I undertook 
for this province, I thought it fit to maintain the 
merit of my former services, by rendering a fresh 
one. For such is the disposition of mankind, you 
cancel all former benefits, unless you add to them 
a heap of subsequent favours ; oblige people never 
so often, and, if you deny them on a single point, 
they remember nothing but that refusal. 1 con- 
sidered likewise, that Classicus being dead, tKe'greaT^ 
objection of imperilling a senator, was removed ; and 
that in undertaking this defence, I should merit the 
same thanks as if he wei'e alive, without the hazard 
of giving any offence. In a word, I reckoned if I 
now for the third time discharged such an office,** 
I could with a better grace excuse myself in future, 
should some one be impeach.ed whom I might have 
personal reasons for declining to prosecute. For all 
our duties have their limits ; and the best way of 
reserving to ourselves the liberty of refusing where 
we would, is to comjily where we can. 

Thus you have heard the motives which influenced 
me in this resolve ; it now remains that you pro- 
nounce judgement for or against it; I shall be equally 
pleased by your sincerity, if you dissent from my 
view, and by the weight of your sanction, if you 
approve it. Farewell. 




C. Plinius Bakuio Macro Suo S. 

Pekgratum est mihi, quod tam diligciiter libros 
avunculi niei lectitas, ut habere omnes velis quaeras- 
que, qui sint omnes. Fungar indicis partibus atque 
etiam^ quo sint ordine scripti, notum tibi faciam ; 
est enim haec quoque studiosis non iniucunda 

' De iaculatione equestri unus ' ; hunc, cum prae 
fectus alae militaret, pari ingenio curaque com- 
posuit. ' De vita Pomponii Secundi duo'; a quo 
singulariter amatus hoc memoriae amici quasi de- 
bitum munus exsolvit. ' Bellorum Germaniae vi- 
ginti ' ; quibus omnia, quae cum Germanis gessimus 
bella, collegit. Inchoavit, cum in Germania mihta- 
ret, somnio monitus. Adstitit ei qiiiescenti Drusi 
Neronis effigies, qui Germaniae latissime victor ibi 
periit, commendabat memoriam suam orabatque, ut 
se ab iniuria oblivionis adsereret. ' Studiosi tres/ 
in sex volumina propter ampbtudinem divisi, quibus 
oratorem^ab incunabulis instituit etperfecit.^ ' Dubii 
sermonis octo' scripsit sub Nerone novissimis 

' perfecit Rice. Fra, Muller, perficit vtdg. 

" Consul 44 A.D. Wrote tragedies praised by Quintilian. 
* Brother of Tiberius. Died, aged 30, from the effects of a 
fall from Iiis horse. 


BOOK ill. V 

To Baebius Macer 

It is with mucli pleasure I find you are so constant 
a reader of my uncle's works, as to wish to have 
a complete collection of them ; and for that purpose 
desire me to send you an account of all the treatises 
he wrote. I will fill the place of an index and even 
acquaint you with the order in which they were 
comjwsed : for that, too, is a sort of information not 
at all unacceptable to men of letters. 

The first book he published was a treatise con- 
cerning the A?t of tisiiig a javelin o7i horseback : this 
he wrote when he commanded a troop of horse, and 
it is drawn up with equal accuracy and judgement. 
The life of Pomponins Secnndus,'^ in two volumes: 
Pomponius had a very great affection for him, and 
he thought he owed this tribute to his memory. 
The history of the wars in Germany, in twenty books.. 
in which he gave an account of all the campaigns 
we were engaged in against that nation. A dream 
which he had when he served in the army in 
Germany, first suggested to him the design of this 
work. The phantom of Drusus Nero* (who ex- 
tended his conquests very far into that country, and 
there lost liis life) appeared to him in his sleep, 
and conjured him not to suffer his memory to be 
buried in oblivion. He has left us likewise The 
Students, in three books, divided into six volumes, 
owing to their length. In this work he takes the 
orator from his cradle, and leads him on till he has 
carried him up to the highest point of perfection 
in this art. In the last years of Nero's reign, when 



annis, cum omne studiorum genus paulo liberius 
et erectius periculosum servitus fecisset. ' A fine 
Aufidi Bassi triginta iinus.' 'Naturae historiarum 
triginta septem,' opus diffusum, erudituni nee 
mii)us varium quam ipsa natura. 

Miraris, quod tot volumina multaque in his tarn 
scrupulosa homo occupatus absolvent^ magis miraberis, 
si scieris ilhim aliquandiu ; causas actitasse, decessisse 
anno sexto et quinquagensimo, medium tempus dis- 
tentum impeditumque qua officiis jnaximis qua 
amieitiajjjnrjygum egisse. Sed erat acre ingenium, 
incredibile studium, summa vigilantia. Lucubrare-' 
Vulcanalibus incipiebat non auspicandi causa, sed 
studendi, statim a nocte multa, hicme vero hora 
septinia vel, cum tardissime, octava, saepe sexta.W 
Erat sane somni paratissimi, non numquam etiam 
inter studia instantis et deserentis. 

Ante lucem ibat ad Vespasianum imperatorem (nam 
ille quoque noctibus utebatur) inde ad delegatum 
sibi officium. Reversus domum^ quod reliquum tem- 
poris, studiis reddebat. Post cibum saepe, quem 
interdiu levem et facilem veterum more sumebat, 

" Died probably circa 60 A. D. 

* Tliis encyclopaedic work is extant. 

' See iv. 24, n. 



the .tyranny of the times made it dangerous to 
engage in studies of a more free and elevated spirit, 
he publislied Linguislic Queries, in eight books ; A 
Contbiitation, in one book, of the thirty books of 
Aiifidiiis Bassus' <* history; and thirty-seven books 
of a Natural History ^ : this is a work of great com- 
pass and learning, and as full of variety as nature 

You will wonder how a man so engaged as he was, 
could find time to compose such a number of books ; 
and some of them too upon abstruse subjects. But 
your surprise will rise still higher, when you hear, 
that for some time he engaged in the profession 
of an advocate, that he died in his fifty-sixth year, 
that from the time of his quitting the bar to his 
death he was engaged and trammelled by the 
execution of the highest posts, and by the friendship 
of his sovereigns.*' But he had a quick apprehension, 
incredible zeaI7 and a wakefulness beyond compare. 
He always began to work at midnight when the 
August festival of Vulcan came round ; not for tlie 
good omen's sake, but for the sake of study ; in 
winter generally at one in the morning, but never 
later than two, and often at midnight. No man ever 
slept more readily, insomuch that he would some- 
times, without retiring from his book, take a short 
sleep, and then pursue his studies. 

Before day- break he used to wait upon Vespasian ; 
who likewise chose that season to transact business. 
When he had finished the affairs which that emperor 
committed to his charge, he returned home again to 
his studies. After a short and light repast at noon 
(agreeably to the good old custom of our ancestors) 
he would frequently ba the summer, if he was 


aestate, si quid otii, iacebat in sole, liber legebatur, 
adnotabat excerpebatque. Nihil enim legit, quod non 
excerperet ; dicere etiara solebat nullum esse librum 
tam malum, ut non aliqua parte prodesset. Post 
solem plerumque frigida lavabatur, deinde gustabat 
dormiebatque minimum ; mox quasi alio die studebat 
in cenae tempus. Super banc liber legebatur, ad- 
notabatur et quidem cursim. Memini quendam ex 
amicis, cum lector quaedam perperam pronuntiasset, 
revocasse et repeti coegisse ; huic avunculum meum 
dixisse, ' Intellexeras nempe.' Cum ille adnuisset : 
' Cur ergo revocabas ? decem amplius versus hac 
tua interpellatione perdidimus.' Tanta erat par- 
simonia temporis. Surgebat aestate a cena luce, 
hieme intra primam noctis et tamquam aliqua lege 

Haec inter medioj labores urbisque fremitum ; 
in secessu solum balinei tempus studiis exime- 
batur. Cum dico balinei, de interioribus loquor; 
nam, dum destringitur tergiturque, audiebat aliquid 
aut dictabat. In itinere quasi solutus ceteris curis 
huic uni vacabat ; ad latus notarius cum libro et 


disengaged from business, repose himself in the sun : 
during which time some author was read to him, 
from whence he made extracts and observations, as 
indeed this was his constant method whatever book 
he read : for it was a maxim of his, that " no book 
was so bad but some profit miglit be gleaned from 
it." When this basking was over, lie generally went 
into the cold bath, and as soon as he came out of it, 
just took a slight refreshment, and then reposed 
himself fo. a little while. Then, as if it had been a 
new c'^''', he immediately resumed his studies till 
dinner-time, when a book was again read to him, 
upon which he would make some running notes. I 
remember once, his reader having pronounced a 
word wrong, somebody at the table made him repeat 
it again ; upon which my uncle asked his friend if he 
understood it? Who acknowledging that he did; 
"why then," said he, "would you make him go back 
again ? We have lost by this interruption of yours 
above ten lines : " so chary was this great man of 
time ! In summer he always rose from supper by 
day-light ; and in winter as soon as it was dark : and 
this was a sort of binding law with him. 

Such was his manner of life amidst the noise and 
hurry of the town ; but in the country his whole 
time was devoted to study without intermission, 
excepting only while he bathed. But in this ex- 
ception I include no more than the time he was 
actually in the bath ; for all the while he was rubbed 
and wiped, he was employed either in hearing some 
book read to him, or in dictating himself In his 
journeys, as though released from all other cares, he 
found leisure for tiiis sole pursuit. A shorthand 
writer, with book and tablets, constantly attended 


pugillaribus, cuius manus hieme manicis munie- 
bantur, ut ne caeli quidem asperitas ullum studiis 
tempus eriperet ; qua ex causa Romae quoque sella 
vehebatur. Repeto me correptum ab eo, cur am- 
bularem. ' Poteras/ inquit ' has horas non per- 
dere ' ; nam perire omne tempus arbitrabatur, quod 
studiis non impei'tiretur. Hac intentio'^e tot ista 
volumina peregit^ electorumque ieommentarios cen- 
tum sexaginta mihi reliquit, opisthographos quidem 
_et„minutissime scriptos ; qua ratione multiplicatur 
hie numerus. Referebat ipse potuisse se, cum pro- 
curaret in Hispania, vendere hos commentaries 
Larcio ^ Licino quadringentis milibus nummum^ et 
tunc aliquanto pauciores erant. ' 

Nonne videtur tibi recordanti, quantum legerit, 
quantum scripserit, nee in officiis uUis nee in amicitia 
principum fuisse, rursus, cum audis, quid studiis 
laboris impendent^ nee scripsisse satis nee legisse ? 
Quid est enim, quod non aut illae occupationes im- 
pedire aut haec mstantia non possit efficere ? Itaque 
soleo ridere^ cum me quidam studiosum vocant, qui, si 
comparer illi, sum desidiosissimus.yEgo autem tantuni, 
quem partim publica, partim amicorum officia distrin- 
gunt? quis ex istis, qui tota vita litteris adsident. 

^ Larcio Rice, p, Midler, Largio M V D, K. 


him in his chariot^ who, in the winter, wore a 
particular sort of Avarm gloves, that the sharpness of 
the weather might not occasion any interruption to 
liis studies ; and for the same reason my uncle always 
used a sedan chair in Rome. I remember he once 
reproved me for walking ; " You might," said he, 
"not have lost those hours:" for he thought all 
was time lost that was not given to study. By this 
extraordinary application he found time to write so 
many volumes, besides one hundred and sixty which 
he left me, consisting of a kind of common-place, 
written on both sides, in a very small character; so 
that one might fairly reckon the number consider- 
ably more. I have heard him say that when he was 
comptroller of the revenue in Spain, Larcius Licinus 
offered him four hundred thousand sesterces for 
these manuscripts : and yet they were not then quite 
so numerous. 

When you reflect upon the books he has read, and 
the volumes he has wi-itten, are you not inclined to 
suppose that he never was an official or a courtier ? 
On the other hand, when you are informed how pains- 
taking he was in his studies, are you not disposed to 
thi?ik that he read and v.rote too little .'' For, on one 
side, what obstacles would nob, the business of a court ^^ 
throw in his way ? And on the other, what is if 
that such intense application might not perforin ? I 
cannot but snitte'ttierefore when I hear myself called 
a studious man, who in comparison to him am a mere 
loiterer. But why do I mention myself, who am 
diverted from these pursuits by numberless duties 
both public and private? Where is he, among those 
whose whole lives are spent in study, who must 
not blush under the consciousness of being but a 



collatus illi non quasi somno et inertiae deditus 
erubescatT j 

Extendi epistulam, quairtVis hoc solum, quod 
requirebas, scribere destinassem, quos libros re- 
liquibset; confide tamen haq^ quoque tibi non 
minus grata quam ipsos libros nitura, quae te non 
tantum ad legendos eos, verum etiam ad simile 
aliquid elaborandum possunt aemulationis stimulis 
excitare. Vale. 

C. PuNius Annio Severo Sue S. 

Ex hereditate, quae mihi obvenit, emi proxime 
Corinthium signum modicum quidem, sed festivum 
et expressum, quantum ego sapio, qui fortasse in 
omni re, in Iiac certe perquam exiguum sapio ; hoc 
tamen signum ego quoque intellego. Est enim 
nudum nee aut vitia, si qua sunt, celat aut laudes 
parum ostentat. Effingit senem stantem ; ossa, 
musculi, nervij venae, rugae etiam ut spirantis appa- 
rent, rari et cedentes capilli, lata frons, contracta 
facies, exile collum, pendent lacerti, papillae iacent, 
recessit venter ; a tergo quoque eadem aetas ut 
ante. Aerugo aes ipsum,i quantum verus color, 
indicat vetils et antiquum; talia denique omnia, ut 

1 ante. Aerugo aes ipsum /S^a/iZ, Miis. Rhen. xxix. 365, ut a 
tergo. Aes ipsum codd. , edd. 

" The making of the " Corinthian bronze," so much prized 
bv Roman connoisseurs, had apparently long been a lost art. 
The story went that the alloy was produced by the fusing of 
gold, silver and bronze, M'hen Mummius burnt Corinth. 
146 B.C. It seems this bronze had a peculiar colour, and 
took a peculiar patina {aei-ugo). 


BOOK III. v.-vi 

sluggard and a dreamer, compared with this great 
scholar ? / 

I iiave run out my letter, I perceive, beyond/tne 
extent I at first designed, which was only to kiform 
you, as you desired, w'hat treatises he has left behind 
him. But I trust this will not be less acceptable to 
you than the books themselves, as it may possibly 
not only raise your curiosity to read his works, but 
your emulation to copy his example by some attempts 
of the same nature. Farewell. 


To Annius Severus 

I HAVE lately purchased with a legacy that was 
left me, a statue of Corinthian bronze. It is small, 
but pleasing, and finely executed, at least, if I have 
any taste ; which most certainly in matters of this 
sort, as perhaps in all others, is extremely defective. 
However, I think even I have enough to discover 
the beauties of this figure ; as it is naked, the faults, 
if tiiere be any, as well as the perfections, are more 
observable. It represents an old man in a standing 
posture. The bones, the muscles, the veins, and 
wrinkles are so strongly expressed, that you would 
imagine the figure to be animated. The hair is thin 
and failing, the forehead broad, the face shrivelled, 
the throat lank, the arms languid, the breast fallen, 
and the belly sunk ; and the back view gives the 
same impression of old age. It appears to be a 
genuine antique, alike from it s tarnish and from 
what remains of the original coloiif oftlie bronze." 
In short, it is a performance so highly finished as to fix 



possint artificum ociilos tenere, delectare impcri- 
torum. Quod nii; qiiamquam tiruneyjuni soUioitavit 
ad emendum. Emi autem, non ut liaberem donii 
(neque enini ullum adhuc Corintliium domi habeo), 
verum ut in patria nostra celebri loco ponerem, ac 
potissimum in lovis temple ; videtur enim dignum 
templo, dignum deo donum. 

Tu ergO;, ut soles omnia, quae a me tibi iniunguntur, 
suscipe banc curam et iam nunc iube basim fieri, ex quo 
voles marmore, quae nomen meum horibresque capiat, J 

si hos quoque putabis addendos. Ego signum ipsum, I 

ut primum invenero aliquem, qui non gravetur; I 

mittam tibi vel ipse, quod mavis, adferam mecum. 
Destino enim, si tamen officii ratio permiserit 
excurrere isto. Gaudes, quod me venturum esse 
polliceor, sed contrahes frontem, cum adiecero ad 
liaucQS-dies ; neque enim diutius abesse me sinunt 
eadem haec, quae nondum exire patiuntur. Vale. 


C. PuNius Caninio Rufo Suo S. 

Mono nuntiatus est Silius Italicus in Neapolitano 
suo inedia vitam finisse. Causa mortis valetudo. 
Erat illi natus insanabilis claviis, cuius taedio ad 
mortem irrevocabili constantia decucurrit usque ad 

I (<» ^uthor of the longest extant Latin poem, an Epic in 
I lTt)Ooks on the Second Punic War, Died 101 a.d. 

\ 206 

^ (vitCJii^'fyCAJi JiA^yy^ 

BOOK III. vi.-vii 

the attention of artists, and delight the least knowing 
observer ; and this induced jnei_whfi_aHL_a_^Jiiej:^ 
novice in this art, to buy it. But I did so, not with 
any intent of placing it in my own house (for I 
have as yet no Corinthian bronzes there) but with 
a design of fixing it in some conspicuous place in 
my native province, preferably in the temple of 
Jupiter; for it is a present well worthy of a temple 
and a god. 

Pray, then, undertake this, as readily as you 
do all my commissions, and give immediate orders 
for a pedestal to be made. I leave the choice 
of the marble to you, but let my name be en- 
graven upon it, and, if you think proper, my titles. 
1 will send the statue by the first opportunity ; or 
possibly (which I am sure you will like better) I may 
bring it myself; for I intend, business permitting, to 
make an excursion to you. This is a promise 
which I know you will rejoice to hear ; but you 
will change your countenance when I add that.j3iy... 
visit will be only for a few days, for the same 
affairs that now detain me here will prevent my 
making a longer stay. Farewell. 


To Caninius Rufus 

I AM just now informed that Silius Italicus « has 
starved himself to death, at his villa near Naples. 
Having been afflicted with an imposthume, which 
was deemed incurable, he grew weary of life under 
such uneasy circumstances, and therefore put an end 
to it with the most determined courage. He had 



supremum diem beatus et felix, nisi qUod niinoreni e 
libcris duohus amisit, sed maiorem melioremque 
flurentem atque etiam consulareni reliquit. Laeserat 
famam suam sub Nerone (credebatur sponte ac- 
cusasse) ; sed in Vitelli amicitia sapienter se et 
comiter gesserat, ex proconsulatu Asiae gloriam 
reportaverat, maculam veteris industriae laudabili otio 

Fuit inter prineipes civitatis sine potentia, 
sine invidia ; salutabatur, colebatur multumque in 
lectulo iacens cubiculo . semper non ex fortuna 
frequenti doctissimis sermonibus dies transigebat, 
cum a scribendo vacaret. Scribebat carniina maiore 
cura quara ingenio, non numquam iudieia hominum 
recitationibus experiebatur, Novissime ita suadenti- 
bus annis ab urbe secessit seque in Campania tenuit 
ac ne adventu quidem novi pi-incipis inde commotus 
est. Magna Caesaris laus, sub quo hoc libei'um fuit, 
magna illius, qui hac libertate ausus est uti. 

Erat ^lAo/caXos usque ad emacitatis reprehensionem. ■ 

• ?«/Trajan (98 a. d.). Not to offer him congratulations in 
Iperson might have been construed as a mark of disaffection. 

^3 08 

BOOK III. vii 

been extremely fortunate through the whole course 
of his days, excepting only the loss of his younger 
son ; however, that was made up to him in the 
satisfaction of seeing his elder, who is of a more 
amiable character, attain the consular dignity, and 
of leaving him in a very flourishing situation. He 
suffered a little in his reputation in the time of 
Nero, having been suspected of forwardly joining 
in some of the informations which were carried on 
in the reign of that prince ; but he made use of 
his intimacy with Vitellius, with great discretion 
and humanity. He acquired much honour by his 
administration of the government of Asia ; and by 
his approved behaviour after his retirement from 
business, cleared his character from that stain which 
his former intrigues had thrown upon it. 

He lived among the nobility of Rome without 
power, and consequently without envy. He was 
highly respected and much sought after, and though 
he was bedridden, his chamber was always thronged 
with visitors, who came not merely out of regard to 
his rank. He spent his time in philosophical dis- 
~cusslon, when not engaged in wi*iting vei'ses ; these 
he sometimes recited, in order to try the sentiments 
of the public, but he discovered in them more 
industry than genius. Lately, owing to declining 
years, he entirely quitted Rome, and lived alto- 
gether in Campania, from whence even the accession 
of the new El.mperoii^'did not draw him. A circum- 
stance which I mention as well to the honour of the 
prince, who permitted such a liberty, as of Italicus, 
who was not afraid to take it._ 

He carried his taste for objects of virlu so far as 
to incur reprehension for greedy buying. He had 



Plures isdem in locis villas adamatisque 
iiovis priorcs neglegebat. Multum ubique librorum, 
multum statuarum, multum imaginum, quas non 
habebat modo, verum etiam venerabatur, Vergili 
ante omnes, cuius natalem religiosius quam suum 
celebrabat, Neapoli maxime, ubi monimentum eius 
adire ut templum solebat. 

In hac tranquillitate annum quintum et septua- 
gensimum excessit delicato magis corpore quani 
infirmo ; utque novissimus a Nerone factus est 
consul, ita postremus ex omnibus^ quos Nero 
consules fecerat, decessit. Illud etiam notabile : 
ultimus ex Neronianis consularibus obiit, quo con- 
sule Nero periit. Quod me recordantem fragili- 
tatis humanae miseratio subit. Quid enim tarn 
circumcisum, tam breve quam hominis vita longis- 
sima ? An non videtur tibi Nero modo modo fuisse ? 
cum interim ex iis, qui sub illo gesserant consulatum, 
nemo iam superest. Quamquam quid hoc miror ? 
nuper L. Piso, pater Pisonis illius, qui a Valerio 
Festo per summum facinus in Africa occisus est, 
dicere solebat neminem se videre in senatu, quern 
consul ipse sententiam rogavisset. 

Tam angustis terminis tantae multitudinis vivacitas 
ipsa concluditur, ut mihi non venia solum dignae, 
verum etiam laude videantur illae regiae lacrimae. 

068 A.D. • 

' The number of senators, as fixed by Augustus, was 600. 
L. Piso was consul 27 a. d. 

BOOK III. vii 

several villas in the same districts^ and the last pur- 
chase was always the chief favourite, to the neglect 
of the rest. They were all furnished with large 
collections of books, statues and portraits, which 
he more than enjoyed, he even adored ; above 
all the portrait of Virgil^ whose birthday he 
celebrated with more solemnity than his own, 
especially at Naples, where he used to approach 
his tomb with as much reverence as if it had been 
a temple. 

In this tranquillity he lived to the seventv-sixth year 
of his age, with a delicate, rather than a sickly, con- 
stitution. It is remarkable, that as he was the last 
person upon whom Nero conferred the consular 
office, so he was the last to die of all those who had 
been raised by him to that dignity ; and again, that 
the last survivor of Nero's consuls was the one in 
whose year of office that prince was killed. ** When 
I consider this, I cannot forbear lamenting the tran- 
sitory condition of mankind. Is there anything in 
nature so short and limited as human life, even in 
its most extended period } Does it not seem to 
you, my friend, but yesterday that Nero was upon 
the throne ? and yet not one of all those who were 
consuls in his reign now remains ! But why should 
I wonder at a circumstance so common? Lucius 
Piso (the father of that Piso who was infamously 
assassinated by Valerius Festus in Africa) used to 
say he did not see one person * in the Senate whom 
he had called upon to speak on the motion before 
the house when he was consul. 

Such multitudes, however strong their vitality, are 
swept away in so short a space I I am therefore so 
far froiu thiaking^Kose historic tears of Xerxes need 


p 2 


Mam fernnt Xerxen, cum immensum exercitum oculis 
obisset, illacrimasse, quod tot milibus tain brevis 
immineret occasus. Sed tanto magis hoc, quidcjuid 
est temporis futtilis et caduei, si non datur factis 
(nam horum materia in aliena manu), certe studiis 
proferamus et, quatenus nobis denegatur diu vivere, 
relinquamus aliquid, quo nos vixisse testemur. Scio 
te stiiniilis non egeie ; me tamen tui caritas evocat, 
ut curreiitem quoque instigem, sicut tu soles me. 
'kyaO)] 8' f.pi'i} cum invicem se mutuis exhorta- 
tionibus amici ad amorem immortalitatis exacuunt. 


C. Pmnius SuEToNio Tranquillo Suo S. 

Facis pro cetera reverentia, quam mihi praestas, 

quod tarn soUicite petis, ut tribunatum, quem a 

Neratio Marcello, clarissimo viro, impetravi tibi, 

in Caesennium Silvanura, propinquum tuuin, trans- 

feram. Mihi autem sicut iucundissimum ipsum te 

1 Hes. " Worha and Days,'' 24. 

" i.e. in that of the Emperor, with whom rested all public 


BOOK III. vii.-viii 

any apology, that in my judgement the story does 
honour to his chai'acter, which informs us, that when 
this prince had attentively surveyed his immense 
army, he could not refrain from weeping at the 
thought that so many thousand lives would so soon 
be extinct. Let us strive the more earnestly there- 
fore to lengthen out our span of life — life that is 
poured out like water and falls as the leaf — if not 
by action (the means to which lie in another's 
power <*), yet in any case by study and research ; 
and since it is not granted us to live long, let us 
transmit to posterity some memorial that we have 
at least lived. 1 well know, you want not any in- 
citement to virtue ; but the warmth of my alfection 
for you inclines me to forward you in the course 
you already pursue ; as I have often found myself 
encouraged by your generous exhortations. " Good 
is the contention," when friends thus strive who shall 
animate each other most in their pursuit of immortal 
fame. Farewell. 


To Suetonius Tranquimu.s 

The obliging manner in which you desire me 
to confer the post of military tribune ^ upon your 
relation, which I had obtained of the most illus- 
trious " Neratius Marcellus for yourself, is agreeable to 
that respect with which you always tj-eaT hie. As it 
would ha;ve giverTISe'^gfeat pleasure to nave' seen 

* There were six of these officers lo eacli legion. The sons 
of Roman knights and senators commonly served with the 
army as trihunes before commencing their civil career. 

' darlssimus was the official style of a Senator. 


Lrihuiiuin ita non minus gratuin alium per te videre. 
Neque enim esse congrueiis arbitror, (|iiem augere 
honoribus ciipias, huic pictatis titulis iiividere, qui 
sunt oniiiibus honoribus pulchriores. Video etiam, 
cum sit egregium et niereri beneficia et dare, 
utranujue te laudem simul adsecuturum, si, quod ipse 
nieruisti, all is tribuas. 

Praeterea intellego iiiilii (juoque gloriae fo)e, si 
ex lioc tuo facto noil fuerit ignotum amicos meos 
non gerere tantuni tribunatus posse, verum etiam 
dare. Quare ego \ ero honestissimae voluntati tuae 
parco. Neque enim_jiJJiuc n omen jn numeros relatum 
est, ideoque liberum est nobis Silvanum in locum 
tuum subdere ; cui cupio tam gratum esse munus 
tuum, quam tibi meum est. V^ale. 

C. Pmnius Cornklio MiNiciANo Suo S. 

Possum iam perseribere tibi, quantum in publica 
piovinciae IJaeticae causa laboris exliauserim. Nam 
t'uit multiplex actaque est saepius cum magna va- 
rietate. Unde varietas .'" unde plures actiones .'' 

Caecilius Classicus, homo foedus et aperte malus, 
proconsulatum in ea non minus violenter quam snrdide 

<• iSee ii. 4. 

BOOK III. viii.-ix 

you in that post, so it will not be less acceptable to 
me to have it bestowed upon one whom you recom- 
mend. For hardly, I think, would it be consistent 
to wish a man advanced to honours, and yet envy 
him a title far nobler than any other he can receive, 
even that of a generous and an affectionate relation. 
To deserve and to grant favours is the fairest point 
of view in which we can be placed ; and this amiable 
character will be yours, if you resign to your friend 
what is due to your own merit. 

Your action will also, I see, reflect credit on 
myself, as the world will learn from hence that my 
friends not only have it in their power to enjoy such 
an honourable post, but to dispose of it. I readily, 
therefore, comply with your generous request ; and 
as your jianie is not yet entered upon the roll, I can 
witnout difficulty insert Siivanus's in its stead ; and 
I wish your benefaction may be as acceptable to him 
as mine is to you. Farewell. 


To Cornelius Minicianus 

I AM now at leisure to inform you of the great 
fatigue I underwent in defence of the province of 
Baetica ; "^ a cause which turned upon a variety of 
issues, and took up several days for the separate 
counts. Why so, you ask ? 

Caecilius Classicus was governor of Baetica, the 
year that Marius Priscus enjoyed the same honour in 
Africa Caecilius was a man of a base, abandoned 



gesserat eodem anno quo in Africa Marius Priscus. 
Erat autem Priscus ex Baetica, ex Africa Classicus. 
Inde dictum Baeticoruin, ut plerumque dolor etiam 
venustos facit, non inlcjiidum ferebatur: 'Dedi 
malum, et accepi.' Sed Marium una civitas publico 
multique privati reum peregerunt, in Classicum tota 
provincia incubuit. I lie accusationem vel fortuita 
vel voluntaria morte praevertit. Nam fuit mors eius 
infamis, ambigua tamen ; ut enim credibile videbatur 
voluisse exire de vita, cum defendi non posset, ita 
mirum pudorem damnationis morte fugisse, queni 
non puduisset damnanda committere. Niliilo minus 
Baetica etiam in defuncti accusatione perstabat. 
Provisum hoc legibus, intermissum tamen et post 
longam interca^edinem tunc reductum. Addiderunt 
Baetici, quod simul socios ministrosque Classici 
detulerunt nominatimque in eos inquisitionem 

Aderam Baeticis mecumque Lucceius Albinus, vir 
in dicendo copiosus, ornatus ; quern ego cum olim 
mutuo diligerem, ex hac officii societate amare arden- 
tius coepi. Habet quidem gloria, in studiis prae- 
sertim, quiddam aKoivovorjTov,^ nobis tamen nullum 

' hKoivov6y]Tov F, Muller, kKoivaiv-qTov Da, Catan. 


character, and exercised his authority with equal 
violence and rapacity. He was a native of Africa, as 
Priscus was of Baetica ; in allusion to which the 
Baetici used archly to say (as resentment often 
gives a certain agreeable sprig htliness), " we are paid 
in our own coin." But the difference between them 
Avas, that Marius was prosecuted by a single city, and 
several private persons ; whereas the charge ?gainst 
Classicus was brought by the whole united province 
of Baetica. He escaped, however, the consequences 
of this impeachment, either by an accidental or volun- 
tary death, I know not which. It is certain, at least, 
his end was disreputable, though the manner of it is 
doubtful ; for as on the one hand it seems credible 
that he should have resolved to depart this life, in 
despair of being acquitted, so, on the other, Ji_is- 
surprisiftg, that he who saw no disgrace in committing 
criminal offences, dies to escape the disgrace of a 
public conviction. Nevertheless, the Baetici persisted 
in going on with the prosecution, albeit of a deceased 
man. This form of })rocedure, of which the laws 
admit, was now, after long disuse, revived in the 
present instance. Tliey ""W^il Wl'fUW, and indicted 
the associates and the inferior officers of Classicus, 
and demanded an individual inquiry into the charges 
against each of them. 

I was counsel for the province ; Lucceius Albinus 
w?s with me. He is a copious and elegant orator ; 
and though we had long been mutually attached, yet 
being associated with him in this cause, has con- 
siderably heightened my affection for him. There 
is something in the pursuit of fame, especially 
oratorical fame, that is selfish, unsociable, and 
jealous of participaTiorTpbut "there was no rivalship 



certamen, nulla contentio, cum uterque pari iugo non 
pro se, sed pro causa niteretur ; cuius et magnitudo 
et utilitas visa est postulare, ne tantum oneris sin- 
gulis actionibus subiremus. Verel)amur, ne nos dies, 
ne vox, ne latera deficerent, si tot crimina, tot reos 
uno velut fasce complecteremur ; deinde ne iudicum 
intentio multis nominibus multisque causis non 
lassaretur mode, verum etiam confunderetur ; mox ne 
gratia singulorum collata atque permixta pro singulis 
(juoque vires omnium acciperet j^^postremo ne poten- 
tissimi vilissimo quoque quasi piaculari dato alienis 
poenis elaberentur. . Etenim turn maxinie favor et 
ambitio dominatur, cum sub aliqua specie severitatis 
delitescere potest. Erat in consilio Sertorianum 
illud exemplum, qui robustissimum et infirmissimum 
militem iussit caudam equi — reliqua nosti. Nam nos 
quoque tarn numerosum agmen reorum ita demum 
videbamus posse superari, si per singulos carperetur. 
Placuit in primis ipsum Classicum ostendere 
nocentem. Hie aptissimus ad socios eius et minis- 
tros transitus erat, quia socii ministrique probari 
nisi illo nocente non poterant ; ex quibus duos 

" The story, as related bj* Valerius INIaximus, is to this 
purpose : Sertorius being proscribed by Sylla, put himself at 
the head of the Lusitani. These people upon a certain 
occasion, were for attacking at once the whole Roman arnn', 
greatly superior to them in numbers. Sertorius endeavoured 
to dissuade them, by all the arguments in his power, from so 
rash a purpose ; but finding his oratory prevailed nothing, 
he ordeied two horses to be brought before him, and calling 



between us, and we united our^joint .efforts in the 
management of this cause, without going into any 
separate or private views of our own. We thought 
the point in question was of too much importance, 
and of too complicated a nature, for each of us to be 
limited to a single speech. We were apprehensive 
we should neither have voice and breath, nor time to 
make good so many charges against so many parties, 
if we made one fagot of them, so to speak. Such 
a variety of persons and facts would be apt to 
confound, as well as weary, the attention of the 
judges. Again, by this collective indictment, all 
the defendants would benefit by the popularity of 
some of their number. Finally, the most powerful 
parties might get off by making scapegoats of their 
most inconsiderable co-defendants ; for partiality 
never exerts itself with more success than when 
it is concealed under the specious appearance of 
severity. We remembered the well known advice 
of Sertorius, who directed the strongest soldier to 
tear off the horse's tail at once, and the weakest 
to pull it off hair by hair. But you know the rest 
of the story." In the same manner we thought we 
had no other way to cope with such a numerous 
body of culprits, but by attacking them singly. 

Our first and principal point was to prove Classicus 
guilty, which would prepare the way to his ac- 
complices ; for till that was done, it would not be 
possible to fix anything upon them. Amongst these 

a young lusty soldier, and a worn-out veteraii, he directed 
the former to pull off the horse's tail at once, and the other 
by degrees. The consequence was, the young man exerted 
all his strength in vain, while the old fellow performed his 
task. (Melm.) 



statira Classico iunximus, Baebium Probum et 
Fabium Hispanum, utrumque gratia, Hispanum 
etiam facundia validuin. Et circa Classicum qui- 
dem brevis et expeditus labor. Sua inanu reli- 
querat soriptum,^ quid ex quaque re, quid ex quaque 
causa accepisset. Miserat etiam epistulas RoTnani 
ad amiculain quandam iactantes et gloriosas his 
quidem verbis : ' lo io, liber ad te venio ; iam 
sestertium quadragies redegi parte vendita Baeti- 
corum.' Circa Hispanum et Probum multum 
sudoris. Horum ante quam crimina ingrederer. 
necessarium credidi elaborare, ut constaret minister- 
ium crimen esse ; quod nisi effecissem, frustra minis- 
tros probassem. Neque enim ita defendebantur, ut 
negarent, sed ut necessitati veniam precarentur ; 
esse enim se provinciales et ad omne proconsulum 
imperium metu cogi. 

Solet dicere Claudius Restitutus, qui mihi re- 
spondit, vir exercitatus et vigilans et quamliljet 
subitis paratus, numquam sibi tantum caliginis, taii- 
tum perturbation is offusum, quam cum praerepta et 
extorta defensioni suae cerneretj in quibiis omnein 
fiduciam reponebat. Consilii nostri exitus fuit : 
bona Classici, quae habuisset ante provinciam, 
placuit senatui a reliquis separari, ilia filiae, haec 
spoliatis relinqui. Additum est, ut pecuniae, quas 



we singled out Baebius and Probus, and Fabius 
Hispanus, whom we thought proper to join with 
Classicus ; these persons were considerable by their 
interest, and Hispanus in particular by his eloquence. 
There was no difficulty in proving the charge against 
Classicus, for there was found among liis papers an 
account under his own hand of the several sums he 
had taken, and upon what occasions. A boastful, 
exultant letter was also produced which he sent to 
one of his mistresses at Rome, wlierein he expresses 
himself in these words : " Huzza ! Huzza ! I am 
coming back to you solvent, having raised four 
millions of sesterces upon the Baetici." But it cost 
us much exertion to make good the articles against 
Hispanus and Probus, Before entering on the 
particular charges against them, I thought it needful 
to establish by argument that their having been 
accessories was in itself criminal, otherwise it would 
be useless to prove that they were accessories. 
Their defence was not based on denial of the 
fact, but on the plea of compulsion ; they alleg- 
ing that as provincials fear of the Proconsul 
obliged them to obey his ordeis, 

Claudius Restitutus, their counsel, though experi- 
enced, vigilant, and equal to all emergencies, assures 
everyone he was never more perj)lexed and con- 
founded than when he perceived I had forestalled 
and demolished the defence, in which he had placed 
all his confidence. The result of my plan was, the 
Senate decreed that the effects Classicus possessed 
before he went into his government shoidd be 
deducted from his estate, and given to his daughter ; 
the overplus to be divided among the victims of his 
spoliation. The decree added further that his 



creditoribus solverat, rcvocarciitur. Hispanus et 
Probus in quinquennium relegati. Adeo grave 
visum est, quod initio dubitabatur an omnino crimen 

Post paucos dies Claudium ^ Fuscuni, Classici gene- 
rum, et Stilonium Priscum, qui tribunus cohortis sub 
Classico fuerat, accusavimus dispari eventu ; Pciseo 
in biennium Italia interdictum, absolutus est Fuscus. 
Actione tertia commodissimuni putavimus pliires 
congregare, ne, si longius esset extracta cognitio, 
satietate et taedio quodam iustitia cognoscentium 
severitasque languesceret ; et alioqui supererant 
minores rei data opera hunc iii locum reservati, 
excepta tamen Classici uxore, quae sicut implicita 
suspicionibus ita non satis convinci probationibus 
visa est. Nam Classici filia, quae et ipsa inter 
reos erat, ne suspicionibus quidem haerebat. Itaque, 
cum ad nomen eius in extrema actione venissem 
(neque enim ut initio sic etiam in fine verendum 
erat, ne per hoc totius accusationis auctoritas 
minueretur), honestissimum credidi non premere 
immerentem idque ipsum dixi et libere et varie. 
Nam mode legatos interrogabam, docuissentne 
me aliquid, quod re probari posse confiderent, 
mode consilium a senatu petebam, putaretne de- 
bere me, si quam haberem in dicendo facultatem, 
in iugulum innocentis quasi telum aliquod inten- 
dere ; postreino totum locum hoc fine conclusi : 

' Claudium Fp, MiiUer, Clavium a, Oluviuiii Z), A''. 


creditors should refund whatever moneys they had 
received since his return. Hispanus and Probus 
were sentenced to be banished for five years ; so 
very atrocious did that conduct now appear, whicli 
seemed at first to be doubted whether it was criminal 
at all. 

A few days afterwards we proceeded against 
Cluvius Fuscus son-in-law to Classicus, and Stilonius 
Priscus, who commanded a troop under him ; but 
the issue was unequal, for the former was acquitted, 
and the latter banished Italy for two years. At the 
third hearing, we thought it advisable to join several 
accomplices in one general charge, lest by protract- 
ing this inquiry any longer, the justice and finuness 
of the Court should flag through a sort of surfeit 
and disgust. And anyhow only the lesser defen- 
dants were left, Ifavmg been designedly reserved 
for this stage ; I must except, however, the wife of 
Classicus, but she, though strongly suspected, was 
not found guilty on the evidence. For as to his 
daughter, who was likewise among the defendants 
she was not even under suspicion. When, therefore, 
on the conclusion of my speech I was to take notice 
of her, I thought 'twas the honourable thing not to 
hear hard upon one who deserved it not, and 
expressed that opinion freely and in several ways, 
as there was now no danger that this would weaken 
my whole case, as it would have done if I had 
begun with it. For I inquired of the delegates, 
whether they could acquaint me with anything 
against her, which they thought they could prove ; 
next appealed to the senate whether I ought to aim 
my eloquence, if in truth I had any, javelin- wise, at 
an innocent heart : and I concluded with saying, 



' Dicet aliquisj " ludicas ergo ? " Ego vero non 
iudico, mcmini tamen me advocatum ex iudicibus 

Hie numerosissimae causae terminus fuit quibus- 
daiTi absolutis, pluribus damnatis atque etiam rele- 
gatis, aliis in tempus, aliis in perpetuum. Eodem 
senatus cousulto industria, fides, constantia nostra 
plenissimo testimonio coniprobata est, dignum 
solumque par pi-etium tanti laboris. Concipere 
animo potes, quam simus faLigati, quibus totiens agen- 
dum, totiens altercandum, tarn multi testes inter- 
rogandi, sublevandi, refutandi. lam ilia quam ardua, 
quam molesta, tot reorum amicis secreto rogantibus 
negare, adversantibus palam obsistere ! Referam 
unum aliquid ex iis, quae dixi. Cum mihi quidam e 
judieibus ipsis pro reo gratiosissimo reclamarent, 
' Non minus,' inquam, ' hie innocens erit, si ego 
omnia dixero.' Coniectabis ex hoc, quantas conten- 
tiones, quantas etiam ofFensas subierimus dumtaxat 
ad breve tempus ; nam fides in praesentia eos, quibus 
resistit, ofFendit, deinde ab illis ipsis suspicitur 

Non potui magis te in rem praesentem perducere. 
Dices : 'Non fuit tanti ; quid enim mihi cum tam 
longa epistula ? ' Nolito ei*go identidem quaerere, 
quid Romae geratur, Et tamen memento esse non 


" But perhaps I slmll be asked if I take upon myself 
to act as a juror. By no means ; I bear in mind, 
however, that I am an advocate appointed from 
amidst that venerable body." 

Thus ended this cause, in which so many parties 
were concerned, some of whom were acquitted, but 
the greater number convicted, and, what is more, 
sentenced, some to perpetual, others to a term of 
exile. The Senate, in the same decree, amply 
testified their approbation of our diligent, honourable, 
and resolute conduct as counsel — the fit, and 
adequate reward for so laborious a task. You will 
easily conceive the fatigue we underwent in speaking 
and debating so long and so often, and in examining, 
assisting, and confuting such a number of witnesses ; 
not to mention the difficulties and annoyance of 
withstanding the private solicitations, and public 
opposition of the defendants' friends. To give you 
only one instance : some of the jurors themselves, 
who thought I pressed too hard upon a defendant they 
favoured, called me to order; " Give me leave," said 
I, " to go on ; for when I have said all I can, he will 
still be as innocent as he was before." From hence 
you will collect what a scene of contention I went 
through, and what enemies I brought upon myself. 
However, it is but for a short season. For though 
honesty may, for the time being, offend those it 
opposes ; yet it will at last be justified and admired, 
even by the very persons who suffer from it. 

Thus I have laid before you, in the clearest 
manner I am able, this whole transaction. You will 
regret, perhaps, the reading so long a letter, and tell 
me it was scarce worth the trouble. Ask me then 
no more what is doing at Rome ! And yet remember 

VOL. I. g 


epistulam longam, quae tot dies, tot cognitiones, tot 
denique reos caususque complexa sit. Quae omnia 
videor mihi non minus breviter quam diligenter per- 
secutus. Temere dixi ' diligenter * ; succurrit, quod 
praeterieram, et quidem sero, sed, quamquam prae- 
..postere, reddetur. Facit hoc Homerus multique 
illius exemplo, est alioqui perdecorum, a me tamen 
non ideo fiet. 

E testibus quidam sive iratus, quod evocatus esset 
invitus, sive subornatus ab aliquo reorum, ut accusa- 
tionem exai-maret, Norbanum Licinianum, legatuin 
et inquisitorem, reum postulavit, tamquam in causa 
Castae (uxor haec Classici) praevaricaretur. Est lege 
cautum, ut reus ante peragatur, tunc de praevari^ 
catore quaeratur, quia optime ex accusatione ipsa 
accusatoris fides aestimatur. Norbano tamen non 
ordo legis, non legati nomen, non inquisitionis 
officium praesidio fuit ; tanta conflagravit invidia 
homo alioqui flagitiosus et Domitiani teniporibus usus 
ut multi electusque tunc a provincia ad inquirendum 
non tamquam bonus et fidelis, sed tamquam Classici 
inimicus. Erat ab illo relegatus. 

Dari sibi diem et edi crimina ^ postulabat. 
Neutrum impetravit, coactus est statim respondere ; 

^ diem et edi crimina, Bipons, K, diem edi cr. D, idem et 
edi cr. MF, diem ad diluenda or. Fpra, Miiller. 

" cf. Cic. ad. Att. i. 16 : respondebo tibi vcrrepov irp6repov, 
'O/UTjpiK&jj. The allusion is to Homer's plunging in viedias 
res (Horace, Ars Poet. 147) by beginning the Iliad with an 
episode in the 10th year of the siege, while previous events 
are told incidentally in later books. The rhetorical term 
for this device was vcrrepov irpSTtpov. 

* Inquisitorea were persons officially appointed to get 
together the evidence in a case. 



that considering how many days and inquiries, how 
many defendants and their several trials my letter 
deals with, it is not really a long one. I venture to 
think I have related the whole with as much brevity 
as exactness. Nay, I must recall that last word ; 
for I perceive, a little too late indeed, that I have 
omitted something. However, I will mention it here, 
though in inverted sequence. This is the practice of 
Homer,** and imitated by many poets ; and indeed 
this irregular manner has its beauties, not that I 
shall adopt it for that reason. 

One of the witnesses whether angry at being 
called against his will, or suborned by a defendant to 
invalidate the charge, desired leave to impeach 
Xorbanus Licinianus, a delegate and commissioner,* 
for having prevaricated "^ in his charge against Casta, 
the wife of Classicus. The law provides that a trial 
must be concluded before an action for prevarication 
"can lie against tb.e prosecutor, because his bona fides 
can best be judged from the prosecution itself. (But 
so extremely odious was Norbanus, that neither l;t>c 
legal order of procedure, nor his being a delegate 
and commissioner, could protect him ; for he was 
otherwise of infamous character, and, like many 
others, had taken advantage of the evils of Domitian's 
reign. He was chosen commissioner by the province, 
not because they had any opinion of his integrity, 
l)ut as hostile to Classicus, by whom he liad been 

Norbanus asked to have time allowed him, and a 
copy of the indictment. Both which were refused, 
and he was ordered to answer immediately to the 

' i.e. wilfully defeated his own case, by collusion with the 
defendant. See i. 20, n. 

Q 2 


respondit, malum pravumque ingenium homiriis faoit 
ut dubitein, confidenter an constanter, certe paratis- 
sime. Obiecta sunt multa, quae magis quam prae- 
varicatio nocuerunt. Quin etiam duo consulares, 
Pomponiiis Rufiis et Libo Frugi, laeserunt eum testi- 
monio, taniquam apud iudicem sub Domitiano Salvi 
Liberalis accusatoribus adfuisset. Damnatus et in 
insulam relegatus est. 

Itaque, cum Castam accusarem, nihil magis pressi, 
quam quod acciisator eius praevaricationis crimiue 
corruisset ; pressi tamen frustra ; accidit enim res 
contraria et nova^ ut accusatore praevaricationis 
damnato rea absolveretur. Quaeris, quid nos, dum 
liaec aguntur ? Indicavimus senatui ex Norbano 
didicisse nos pul:)licam causam rursusque debere ex 
iiitegro discere, si ille praevaricator probaretur, atque 
ita, dum ille peragitur reus, sedimus. Postea Nor- 
banus omnibus diebus cognitionis interfuit ean- 
demque usque ad extremum vel constantiam vel 
audaciam pertulit. 

Interrogo ipse me, an aliquid omiserim rursus, et 
rursns ])aene omisi. Summo die Salvius Liberalis 
reliquos legatos graviter increpuit, tamquam non 
omnes, quos mandasset provincia, reos peregissent, 
atque, ut est vehemens et disertus, in discrimen 
addnxit, Protexi viros optimos eosdemque gratissi- 



charge. He did so ; when I consider his depraved 
character, I know not whether I should say with 
assurance, or firmness, but undoubtedly with great 
readiness. There were many things alleged against 
him, much more damaging than the charge of 
prevarication. Two ex-consuls, Pomponius Rufus, 
and Libo Frugi, gave the damning evidence that in 
the reign of Domitian he was counsel for the prose- 
cutors of Salvius Liberalis. He was found guilty, 
and sentenced to exile in an island. 

When, therefore, I had to charge Casta, I laid the 
greatest stress on the fact that her accuser had 
broken down in his case by collusion. But I urged 
this to no purpose ; for against all reason and 
precedent, the accused was acquitted, though her 
accuser had been convicted of collusion with her. 
You will be curious to be informed how we acted in 
this conjuncture. We acquainted the Senate, that as 
we had received our briefs in a public prosecution 
from Norbanus, we could not, if he should be 
convicted of collusion, proceed without new ones ; 
and accordingly we sat through his trial without 
intervening. When this was over, Norbanus daily 
attended in Court, and preserved the same resolution, 
or impudence, to tlie last. 

And here, uj)on interrogating myself, I find I have 
been almost guilty of another omission. I should 
have told you that on the last day Salvius Liberalis 
inveighed strongly against the rest of the delegates, 
on the ground that they had not brought to justice all 
the parties they were commissioned by the province to 
prosecute. As he is a man of great impetuosity 
and eloquence, he put them in a dangerous position. 
But I protected those worthy men, whom I found 



mos ; mihi certe debere se praedicantj quod ilium 
turbiiiem evaserint. Hie erit epistulae finis, re vera 
finis ; litteram non addam, etianisi adhuc aliquid 
pi'aeterisse me sensero. Vale. 

C. PuNius Vkstricio Spurinnae Suo et Cottiae S. 

CoMPosuissE me quaedam de filio vestro non 
dixi vobis, cum proxime apud vos fui, primum quia 
non ideo scripseram, ut dicerem, sed ut meo amori, 
meo dolori satisfacerem^deinde quia te, Spurinna, 
cum audisses reeitasse me, ut mihi ipse dixisti, quid 
recitassem, simul audisse credebam.'> Praeterea 
veritus sum, no vos festis diebus confunderem, si in 
memoriam gravissimi luctus reduxissem. Nunc 
quoque paulisper haesitavi, id solum, quod recitavi, 
mitterem exigentibus vobis an adicerem, quae in 
aliud volumen cogito reservai-e. Neque enim 
adfectibus meis uno libello carissimam mihi et 
sanctissimam memoriam prosequi satis est, cuius 
famae latius consuletui*, si dispensata et digesta 

Verum haesitanti mihi, omnia, quae iam composui, 
vobis exhiberem an adhuc aliqua differrera, simplicius 

BOOK III. ix.-x 

most grateful, too ; for they declare I saved them 
from the storm with which they were threatened. 
And now, my friend, I will put an end to my letter 
in good earnest ; and will not detain you with 
adding a syllable more, even though I should find 
some circumstances have still escaped me. Farewell. 


To Spurinna and Cottia 

I DID not, it is true, acquaint you, at my last visit, 
that I had composed something in praise of your son ; 
because it was not written for the sake of ostentation, 
but merely as a private tribute of affection to his 
memory, and as a consolation to me in my concern 
for the loss of him. .Besides, my dear Spurinna, as 
you told me you heard I had recited, I imagined you 
were informed at the same time of the subject ; and 
I was unwilling to cast a gloom upon your cheer- 
fulness in that season of gaiety in which I found 
you, by recalling to your remembrance so severe a 
misfortune. I have even still some doubt, whether I 
should only send you both, upon your request, what 
I then recited, or join with it what I design for 
another essay : for a single ti'act was not only in- 
sufficient to give due scope to the sentiments of my 
heart, and to comprise the full offerings I would pay 
to one whose memory I so infinitely love and honour; 
but it seemed also more for the interest of his fame, 
to have it thus spread by separate pieces. 

But the consideration, that it will be treating you 
with a more friendly openness to transmit to you the 
whole now, rather than reserve part of it to another 



et amicius visum est omnia, praecipue cum ad fir- 
metis intra vos futura, donee placeat emittere. Quod 
superest, rogo, ut pari simplicitate, si qua existi- 
mabitis addenda, commutanda, omittenda, indicetis 
mihi. Difficile est hucusque intendere animum in 
dolore ; difficile, sed tamen, ut scalptorem, ut 
pictorem, qui filii vestri imaginem faceret, ad- 
moneretis, quid exprimere, quid emendare deberet, 
ita me quoque formate, regite, qui non fragilem 
et caducam, sed immortalem, ut vos putatis, effigiem 
Conor efficere ; quae hoc diuturnior ei'it, quo verior, 
melior, absolutior fuerit. Valete. 


C. Plinius Julio Genitori Suo S. 

Est omnino Artemidori nostri tam benigna natura, 
ut officia amicorura in maius extollat. Inde etiam 
meum meritum ut vera ita supra meritum praedi- 
catione circurafert. Equideni, cum essent philosophi 
ab urbe summoti, fui apud ilium in suburbano et, 
quo notabilius hoc periculosiusque esset, fui praetor. 
Pecuniam etiam, qua tune ille ampliore opus erat, 
ut aes alienum exsolveret contractum ex pulcherrimis 


"^ Nothing is known of him except from this letter. 
* By Domitian, in 93 a.d. 

BOOK III. x.-xi 

time, has determined me to do so ; especially as you 
have assured me you will not part with it out of your 
hands, till I think proper to send it abroad. I beg 
you would give me an instance of the same unreserved 
freedom, by pointing out to me what you shall judge 
would be best altered, omitted, or added. It is 
difficult (and I know it by what I feel myself) for a 
mind in affliction to attend to such little cares. 
However, as you would direct a painter or statuary 
who was representing the figure of your son, what 
parts he should retouch or express, so I hope you will 
guide and inform my hand in this more durable, or 
(as you are pleased to think it) this immortal picture 
of his mind, which I am endeavouring to draw : for 
the nearer it shall resemble the original, and the 
more finished it shall be, so much the more lasting it 
is likely to prove. Farewell. 


To Julius Gknitor 

It is the generous disposition of Artemidorus ** to 
heighten the good offices of his friends ; hence, 
though I have really obliged him, he gives |)eople an 
exaggerated account of his obligation. (It is true, 
indeed, when the philosophers were expelle"d Rome,'' 
I went to see him at his house near the city, and I 
ran the greater hazard in paying him that visit, as I 
was at that time Praetor. I likewise presented him 
with a considerable sum to discharge some debts he 
had contracted upon very glorious occasions, though 
I was obliged to borrow the money myself; while 
certain other friends, who both in power and fortune 



.^.^. • ■'■ 

causis^ mussantibus magnis quibusdam et locupletibus 
amicis mutuatus ipse gratuitam dedi. Atque haec 
feci, cum septem amicis meis aut occisis aut relegatiSj 
Decisis Senecione, Rustico, Helvidio, relegatis 
Maurico, Gratilla^ Arria, Faimia, tot circa me iactis 
fulminibus quasi ambustus mihi quoque impendere 
idem exitium certis quibusdam notis augurarer. 
Non ideo tamen eximiam gloriam mei'uisse me, ut 
ille praedicat, credo, sed tantum effugisse flagitium. 

Nam et C. Musonium, socerum eius, quantum 
licitum est per aetatem, cum admiratione dilexi et 
Artemidorum ipsum iam tum, cum in Syj-ia tribunus 
militarem, arta familiaritate complexus sum idque 
primum non nullius indolis dedi specimen, quod 
virum aut sapientem aut proximum simillimumque 
sapienti intellegere sum visus. Nam ex omnibus, 
qui nunc se jihilosophos vocant, vix unum aut alteram 
invenies tanta sinceritate, tanta veritate. Mitto, 
qua patientia corporis hiemes iuxta et aestates ferat, 
ut nullis laboribus cedat, ut nihil in cibo aut potu 
voluptatibus tribuat, ut oculos animumque contineat. 
Sunt haec magna, sed in alio, in hoc vero minima, 
si ceteris virtutibus comparentur, quibus meruit, 
ut a C. Musonio ex omnibus omnium ordinum 
adsectatoribus gener adsumeretur. 

» An eminent teacher of Stoicism, fragments of whose 
works are extant. He suffered banishment to an island 
under Nero (65 a.d. ), but spent his later j-ears in Rome, 
and was speoiall}' excepted when Vespasian banished all 
philosophers from the city (71 a.d.). 



were capable of assisting hirtij dared not come for- 
ward. This I did though I had before my eyes the 
sufferings of seven of my friends ; Senecio, Rusticus, 
and Helvidius being just then put to death, at the 
same time that Mauricus, Gratilla, Arria, and Fannia 
were sent into exile. And scorched as I was with 
the lightning of the State, which thus flashed round 
me, I had great reason to expect it would not be 
long before it destroyed me too. But I do not 
esteem myself upon that account as meriting the 
hifh encomiums my friend bestows upon me ; all I 
pretend to is, that I was not guilty of the infamous 
meanness of abandoning him in his misfortunes. 

I had, as far as the difference of our ages would 
admit, a friendship for his father-in-law Musonius,'' 
whom I both loved and esteemed. Artemidorus 
himself I made acquaintance with when I was mil- 
itary tribune in Syria, where 1 entered into the 
strictest intimacy with him. And 'twas the first 
mark I gave of being not without parts, that 1 
understood his character, who, if he is not a wise 
man,^ is next door to one ; I am sure at least, of all 
those who now call themselves philosophers, you will 
scarce find one so genuine and sincere. I forbear to 
mention how patient he is of heat and cold, how in- 
defatigable in labour, how indifferent to the pleasures 
of the table, what strict guard he keeps over his 
eyes and thoughts ; for these qualities, considerable 
as they would certainly be in any other, are eclipsed 
in him, by the superior lustre of those other virtues 
which recommended him to Musonius for a son-in-law,, 
in preference to so many other suitors of altranks. 

* The Stoics held that their ideal of the Wise, or Perfect, 
Mdu had never been realised, even by Socratea. 



Quae mi hi recordanti est quidem iucundum, quod 
me cum apud alios turn apud te tantis laudibus 
cumulat, vereor tamen, ne modum excedat, quem 
benignitas eius (illuc enim, unde coepi, reverter) 
non solet tenere. Nam in hoc uno interdum vir 
alioqui prudentissimus honesto quidem, sed tamen 
errore versatur, quod pluris amicos suos, quam sunt; 
arbitratur. \'^ale. 


C. PuNius Catilio Severo Suo S. 

Veniam ad cenam, sed iam nunc paciscor, sit 
expedita, sit parca, Socraticis tantum sermonibus 
abundet, in his quoque teneat modum. Erunt offi- 
cia antelucana, in quae incidere impune ne Catoni 
quidem licuit, quem tamen C. Caesar ita reprehen- 
ditj ut laudet. Scribit enim eos, quibus obvius 
fuerit/ cum caput eorii retexissent^ erubuisse ; deinde 
adicit : ' Putares non ab illis Catonem, sed illos a 
Catone deprehensos.' Potuitne plus auctoritatis tribui 
Catoni, quam si ebi'ius quoque tam venerabilis 
erat ? Nostrae tamen cenae ut apparatus et impen- 

1 fuerit F D Rice, a, K, fuerat M Vr. 

" Part of a client's duty towards his patron was to attend 
his lev4e, which was commonly held at daybreak. The story 
seems to have been that Cato, going home drnnlc, was stopped 
and recognised by persons bound on this errand. 


BOOK III. xi.-xii 

I cannot therefore but be highly sensible of the 
advantageous terras in which he speaks of me to 
everybody, and particularly to you. But I am appre- 
hensive (to return to the observation with which I 
set out) that the warmth of his generous benevolence 
may carry him beyond the bounds I deserve : for he, 
who is so free from all other errors, is extremely apt 
to fall into this good-natured one, of over-rating the 
merit of his friends. Farewell. ^^_^^-' 


To Catilius Severus 

I ACCEPT of your invitation to supper ; but I must 
make this agreement beforehand, that you dismiss 
me soon, and treat me frugally. Let our table 
abound only in philosophical conversation, and let 
us enjoy even that within limits. There are those 
early morning callers to think of, whom Cato himself 
could not safely fall in with'' ; though I must confess 
that Julius Caesar, when he reproaches him upon 
that head, exalts the character he endeavours to 
expose : ^ for he describes those persons who met 
this reeling patriot, as blushing when they dis- 
covered who he was ; and adds, " you would have 
thought that Cato had detected them, and not they 
Cato." Could he place the dignity of Cato in a 
stronger light, than by representing him thus vener- 
able even in his cups } As for ourselves nevertheless, 

' Soon after Cato's suicide at Utica, Cicero published a 
panegyric on him, to which Caesar, though in the middle of 
a campaign, found time to write a rejoinder — the"Anti- 
Cato," in two books, depreciating Cato, while complimenting 



dii sic temporis modus constet. Netjuc enim ii 
sumus, quos vituperare ne inimici quidem possint, 
nisi ut simul laudent. Vale. 


C. Pmnius Vocomo Romano Suo S. 

LiBRUM, quo nuper optimo principi consul gra- 
tias egi, misi exigenti tibi missurus, etsi non exe- 
gisses. In hoc consideres velim ut pulchritudinem 
materiae ita difficultatem. In ceteris enim lectorem 
novitas ipsa intentum habet, in hac nota, vulgata 
dicta sunt omnia ; quo fit, ut quasi otiosus secu- 
rusque lector tantum elocutioni vacet, in qua satis- 
facere difficilius est, cum sola aestimatur. Atque 
utinam ordo saltem et transitus et figurae simul 
spectarentur ! Nam invenire praeclare, enuntiare 
magnifice interdum etiam barbari solent, dispo- 
nere apte, figurare varie nisi eruditis negatum 
est. Nee vero adfectanda sunt semper elata et ex- 
celsa. Nam, ut in pictura lumen non alia res magis 
quam umbra commendat, ita orationern tam sum- 
mittere quam attollere decet. 

" See Introduction. 

BOOK III. xiL-xiii 

let temperance not only spread our table, but regulate 
our hours : for we are not arrived at so high a re- 
putation, that our enemies cannot censure us but to 
our honour. Farewell, 



I HAVE sent you, as you desired, my late speech of 
thanks to our most excellent Emperor ** on my 
appointment to the consulship ; and I intended to 
have done so, though you had not requested it. 
I could wish when you peruse it, you would consider 
the difficulty, as well as the dignity, of the subject. 
In other compositions, where the reader is not 
acquainted with the subject, the mere novelty of 
it engages his attention ; but in a topic so trite and 
hackneyed as this, he has nothing to divert him 
from considering the style and manner of his 
author, which he is at full leisure to contemplate : 
and the writer has a hard task to please his readers, 
when the whole force of their criticism is directed to 
that single point. But I should be glad they would 
have in view the disposition, the figures, and con- 
nections I have observed in this discourse. A strong 
imagination, and grandiose expression will sometimes 
break out in the most unpolished writer ; but regu- 
larity in the plan of a work, and propriety in the 
figures, are the distinguishing mark and particular 
privilege of an improved genius. And yet the lofty 
and the elevated are not always to be affected. 
For as shades in a picture best bring out the high 
lights, so the plain and simple style in writing is 
as effective as the sublime. 




Sed quid ego hacc doctissimo viro ? quin potius 
ill lid : adnota, quae putaveris corrigenda. Ita enini 
magis credam cetera tibi placere, si quaedam 
displicuisse cognovero. Vale. 


C. PUNIUS AciLio Suo S. 

Rem atrocem nee tantum epistula dignam Larcius ^ 
Macedo, vir praetorius, a servis suis passus est, 
superbus ab'oqui dominus et saevus, et qui servisse 
patrem suum parum, immo nimium meminisset. 

Lavabatur in villa .Formiana. Repente eum servi 
circumsistunt ; alius fauces invadit, alius os verbe- 
rat, alius pectus et ventrem, atque etiam, foedum 
dictu, verenda contuiidit ; et, cum exanimem pu- 
tarent, abiciunt in fervens pavimentum, ut ex- 
perirentur, an viveret. Ille, sive quia non sentiebat, 
sive quia se non sentire simulabat, immobilis et 
extentus fidem peractae mortis implevit. Tum 
demum quasi aestu solutus efFertur ; excipiunt servi 

' Larcius Z), Mommsen, Largius vulg. 

BOOK III. xiii.-xiv 

But I forget tliat I am talking to one who is so 
complete a judge of these matters ! I should rather 
beg of you to point out to me what you shall think 
requires correction : for if I find you dislike some 
parts, I shall be more inclined to believe you appi'ove 
of the rest. Farewell. 


To AciLius 

The horrid barbarity which the slaves of Larcius 
Macedo, a person of Praetorian rank, lately exercised 
upon their master, is so extremely tragical, that it 
deserves to be the subject of something more con- 
siderable than a private letter ; though at the same 
time it must be acknowledged, there was a haughti- 
ness and severity in his treatment of them, which 
shewed him little — nay, I should rather say, too — 
mindful that his own father was once in the same 

They suddenly surrounded him as he was bathing 
at his villa near Formiae ; one seized him by the 
throat, another struck him on the face, yet others 
trampled upon his breast, his belly, and actually, 
shocking to relate, on a part I forbear to name. 
When they imagined him senseless, they threw him 
upon the boiling-hot pavement of the bath, to try if 
there was any remaining life left in him. He lay 
there stretched out, and motionless, either as really 
senseless, or counterfeiting to be so ; upon which 
they concluded him actually dead. In this condition 
they brought him out, pretending that he had fainted 
away by the heat of the bath. Some of his more 
trusty servants received him, and the alaim being 


VOL. I. R 


fideliores, concubinae cum ululatu et clamore con- 
currunt. Ita et vocibus excitatus et recreatus loci 
frigore sublatis oculis agitatoque corpore vivere se 
(et iam tutum erat) confitetur. DifFugiunt servi ; 
quorum magna pars comprehensa est, ceteri re- 
quiruntur. Ipse paucis diebus aegre focilStus noh^ 
sine ultionis solacio decessit ita vivus vindicatus, ut 
occisi Solent. 

Vides, quot periculis, quot contumeliis^ quot ludi- 
briis simus obnoxii ; nee est, quod quisquam possit 
esse securus, quia sit remissus et mitis ; non enim 
iudicio domini, sed scelere perimun'tiir. Verum haec 

Quid praeterea novi ? quid ? nihil ; alioqui sub- 
iungerem ; nam et charta adhuc superest, et dies 
feriatus patitur plura contexi. Addam, quod op- 
portune de eodem Macedone succurrit. Cum in 
publico Romae lavaretur, notabilis atque etiam, ut 
exitus docuit, ominosa res accidit. Eques Romanus 
a servo eius, ut transitum daret, manu leviter 
admonitus convertit se nee servum, a quo erat tactus, 
sed ipsum Macedonem tarn graviter palma percussit, 
ut paene concideret. Ita balineum illi quasi per 
gradus quosdam primum contumeliae locus, deinde 
exitii fuit. Vale. 


BOOK III. xiv 

spread through the family, his mistresses ran to him 
with the most violent shrieks. The noise of their 
cries, together with the fresh air, brought him a 
little to himself, and he gave signs (as he now safely 
might) that he was not quite dead, by motion of his 
eyes and limbs. The slaves fled in various direc- 
tions, but the greater part of them are taken, and 
search is being made for the rest. With much 
difficulty, he was kept alive for a few days, and 
then expired ; but not before he had the consolation 
of seeing his murder avenged Avhile he yet lived. 

Thus you see to what indignities, outrages, and 
dangers we are exposed. Nor is lenity and good 
treatment any security from the villainies of your 
servants ; for it is malice, and not reflection that 
arms such ruffians against their masters. So much 
for this piece of news. 

But you will ask, I imagine, " Is this all the news ? " 
In truth it is ; otherwise, you should have it ; for my 
paper and my time too (as it is a holyday with me) 
will allow me to add more. Upon recollection, how- 
ever, I can tell you one farther circumstance relating 
to Macedo, which just now occurs to me. As he was 
once in a public bath at Rome, a remarkable, and (as 
it should seem by the manner of his death) an 
ominous accident happened to him. A slave of 
Macedo's, in order to make way for his master, laid 
his hand gently upon a Roman knight, who, suddenly 
turning round, by mistake gave not him, but Macedo 
so violent a cuff, that he almost knocked him down. 
Thus the bath seems to have been fatal to him by a 
kind of gradation ; for first he received an indignity, 
and afterwards lost his life there. Farewell. 


B 2 



C. Plinius SiLio Proculo Suo S. 

Petis, ut libellos tuos in secessu legam, exami- 
nemque, an editione sint digni, adhibes preces, 
adlegas exemphim ; rogas etiam^ ut aliquid subse- 
civi temporis studiis meis subtraham, impertiam tuis, 
adicis M. Tullium mira benignitate poetarum 
ingenia fovisse. Sed ego nee rogandus sum nee 
hortandus ; nam et poeticen ipsam religiosissime 
veneioi* et te validissime diligo. Faciam ergo, quod 
desideras, tarn diligenter quam libenter. 

Videor autem iam nunc posse reseribere esse opus 
pulchvum nee supprimendum, quantum aestimare 
licuit ex his, quae me praesente recitasti, si modo mihi 
non imposuit recitatio tua ; legis enim suavissime et 
peritissime. Confido tamen me non sic auribus 
duci, ut qmnes aculei iudicii mei illarum deleni- 
mentis refringantur ; hebetentur fortasse et paulu- 
lum retundantur, evelli quidem extorqueriqiie non 
possunt. Igitur non temere iam nunc de univer- 
sitate pronuntio, de partibus experiar legendo. 




To Si LI us Procultis 

You desire me to read your poems in my retire- 
ment, and to examine whether they are fit for a 
pubhe view ; you put in a petition, and quote a 
})recedent ; for after requesting me to tui-n some 
of my leisure liours from my own studies to yours, 
you remind me that Tully was remarkable for his 
generous encouragement and patronage of poetical 
geniuses. But you did not do me justice if you sup- 
posed I wanted either entreaty or example upon this 
occasion, who not only honour the Muse with the 
most religious regard, but have also the warmest 
friendship for yourself: I shall therefore do what you 
require, with as much pleasure as care. 

But I believe I may venture to reply off-hand that 
your performance is extremely beautiful and ought 
by no means to be suppressed, so far as I could judge 
those parts which I heard you recite : if indeed your 
manner did not impose upon me ; for the skill and 
harmony of your elocution is certainly superlative. 
I trust, however, I was not so enthralled by the 
pleasure my ear received, as that my critical faculty 
was wliolly destroyed ; it might possibly be a little 
weakened and blunted, but could not, at any rate, be 
completely extirpated. I think therefore I may now 
safely pronounce my opinion of your poems in gen- 
eral ; what they are in their several parts, I sliall 
judge when I read them. Farewell. 




C. Plinius Nepoti Suo S. 

Adnotasse videor facta dictaque viroruni femina- 
riimque illustrium alia clariora esse, alia maiora. 
Confirmata est opinio mea hestemo Fanniae ser- 
mone. Neptis ha^'c Arriae 'illius, quae marito et 
solacium mortis et exemplum fuit. Multa refei-ebat 
aviae suae non minora hoc, sed, obscuriora ; quae 
tibi existimo tarn mirabilia legenti fore, quam mihi 
audienti fuerunt. 

Aegrotabat Caecina Paetus, maritus eius, aegrotabat 
et filius; uterque mortifere, ut videbatur. Filius 
decessit eximia pulchritudine, pari verecundia et 
parentibus non minus ob alia carus, quam quod filius 
erat. Huic ilia ita funus paravit, ita duxit exsequias, 
ut ignoraret maritus ; quin immo, quotiens cubiculum 
eius intraret, vivere filium atque etiam commodiorem 
esse simulabat ac persaepe interroganti, quid ageret 
puer, respondebat, ' Bene quievit, libenter cibum 
sumpsit.' Deinde, cum diu coliibitae lacrimae vincer- 
ent prorumperentque, egrediebatur ; turn se dolori 
dabat ; satiata siccis oculis composito vultu redibat, 

BOOK III. xvi 

To Nepos 

Methinks I have observed, that amongst the 
actions and sayings of distinguished persons in either 
sex, those which have been most celebrated have 
not always been the most illustrious ; and I am con- 
firmed in this opinion, by a conversation I had 
yesterday with Fannia. This ladyfs granddaughter 
to that celebrated Arria, who gave her husband not 
only consolation, but an example, in the hour of 
death. She informed me of several particulars re- 
lating to Arria, not less heroical than this famous 
action of hers, tho' not so well-known ; which I am 
persuaded will raise your admiration as much when 
you read, as they did mine when I heard them. 

Arria's husband, Caecina Paetus, and her son, 
were both at the same time attacked with a seem- 
ingly mortal illness, of which the son died. This 
youth, who had a most beautiful person and was as 
modest as he was beautiful, had endeared himself to 
his parents no less by his other claims on their 
affection than by his relation to them. His mother 
managed his funeral so privately that Paetus did not 
know of his death ; nay, more, whenever she came 
into his bed-chamber, she pretended her son was 
better ; and as often as he inquired after his health, 
would answer that he had rested well, or had eaten 
with an appetite. When she found she could no 
longer restrain her grief, but her tears were gushing 
out, she would leave the room, and having given 
vent to her passion, return again with dry eyes and 
a serene countenance, as if she had dismissed every 



tamquam orbitatem foris reliquisset. Praeclarum 
quidem illiid eiusdenij ferrum stringere, perfodere 
pectus, extrahere pugionem, porrigere marito, ad- 
dere vocem immortalem ac paene divinam : ' Paete, 
non dolet.' Sed tamen ista facienti dicentique 
gloria et aeternitas ante oculos erant ; quo raaius 
est sine praemio aeternitatis, sine praemio gloriae 
abdere lacrimas, operire luctum amissoqiie filio 
matrem adhuc agere. 

Scribonianus arma in Illjiico contra Claudium 
moverat; fuerat Paetus in partibus, occiso Scri- 
boniano Romam trahebatur. Erat ascensurus navem. 
Arria milites orabat, ut simul imponeretur. ' Nempe 
enim,* inquit, 'daturi estis consulari viro servulos 
aliquos, quorum e manu, ci^um capiat, a quibus 
vestiatur, a quibus calcietul-'': ' oin'nia sola pvaestabo.' 
Non impetravit ; conduxit piscatoriam naviculam 
ingensque navigium minimo secuta est. Eadem 
apud Claudium uxori Scriboniani, cum ilia pro- 
fiteretur indicium, 'Ego,' inquit, ' te audiam, cuius 
in gremio Scribonianus occisus est, et vivis ? ' Ex 
quo manifestum est ei consilium pulcherrimae mortis 
non subitum fuisse. 

il " Paetus had taken part in the military revolt raised by 
I Scribonianus, the governor of Dalraatia (a.d.. 42). It failed 
' in four days, the troops refusing to march to Italy ; S. fled, 
and was killed by one of his soldiers. Paetus was brought 
to Rome, tried and found guilty, and ordered to commit 
suicide in prison. When the last moment came, his wife 
I took the dagger, plunged it into her own breast, and drawing 
|[ it forth, gave it to him with the immortal words. Her 
i| attempted suicide in Thrasea's house, which Pliny presently 

\ 248 

BOOK III. xvi 

pang of bereavement at her entrance. The action 
was, no doubt, truly noble, when drawing the dagger 
she plunged it in her breast, and then presented it 
to her husband with that ever-memorable, I had 
almost said that divine expression, " It does not 
hurt, my Paetus." "■ It must however be considered, 
when she spoke and acted thus, she had the prospect 
of immortal glory before her eyes to encourage and 
support her. But was it not something much greater, 
without the view of such powerful motives, to hide 
her tears, to conceal her grief, and cheerfully play 
the mother when she was so no more ? 

Scribonianus had taken up ai*ms in Illyria against 
Claudius, but being slain, Paetus, who was of his 
party, was brought prisoner to Rome. When they 
were going to put him on board a ship, Arria 
besought the soldiers that she might be permitted 
to go with him : "Of course," said she, "you mean 
to give a consular, as he is, a few slaves to wait 
upon him at his table and toilet ; but if you will 
take me, I alone will perform their whole duties." 
This favour, however, she could not obtain ; upon 
which she hired a small fishing-vessel, and pursued 
that great ship in a mere cockle-shell. At her return 
to Rome, she met the wife of Scribonianus in the 
emperor's palace, who had turned evidence for the 
prosecution: "What," said she, " am I to suffer you to 
address me, who saw your husband murdered even 
in your very arms, and yet survived him .'' " An ex- 
pression which plainly shews, that the noble manner 
in which she put an end to her life, was no un- 
premeditated effect of sudden passion. 

mentions, probably occurred when Paetus had been already 
found guilty, and was awaiting execution. 



Qiiin etianij cum Thrasea, gener eius, deprecareturj 
ne mori pergeret, interque alia dixisset : * Vis 
ergo filiam tuam, si mihi pereundum fuerit, mori 
mecum ? ' respondit : * Si tarn diu tantaque concordia 
vixerit tecum, quam ego cum Paeto, volo.' Auxerat 
hoc response curam suorum, attentius custodiebatur ; 
sensit et ' Nihil _ agitis ' inquit ; * potestis eiiim 
efficere, ut jmale moriar, ne moriar, non potestis.' 
Dum haec dicit, exsiluit cathedra adversoque 
parieti caput ingenti impetu impegit et corruit. 
Focilata ' Dixeram,' inquit ' vobis, inventuram 
me quamlibet duram ad mortem viam, si vos facilem 

Videnturne haec tibi maiora illo, ' Paete, non 
dolet,' ad quod per haec perventum est ? cum 
interim illud quidem ingens fama^ haec nulla cir- 
cumfert. Unde colligitur, quod initio dixi, alia 
esse clariora, alia maiora. Vale. 

" Twenty-four years later, Thrasea was condemned for 
treason, under Nero, and ordered to choose the manner of 
his death (66 a.d. ). His wife, the younger Arria, sought to 
die with him, but he persuaded lier to live for the sake of 
their daughter, Faunia (vii. 19). 


BOOK III. xvi 

When, tooj Thrasea, who married her daughter, 
was dissuading her from her purpose of destroy- 
ing herself, and among other arguments which 
he used, said to her, " Would you then advise 
your daughter to die with me, if my life were to 
be taken from me ? " * "Most certainly I would," 
she replied, "if she had lived as long and in 
as much harmony with you as I have with my 
Paetus." This answer greatly heightened the alarm 
of her family, and made them observe her for 
the future more narrowly; which, when she per- 
ceived, "you are wasting your trouble," said she, 
"you can oblige me to die a painful death, but you 
cannot prevent me from dying." She had scarce 
said this, when she sprang from her chair, and 
running her head with the utmost violence against 
the wall, she fell down, in appearance dead. But 
being brought to herself, " I told you," said she, 
"if you would not suffer me to take the easy path 
to death, I should make my way to it through some 
more difficult passage." 

Now, is there not, my ft-iend, something much 
greater in all this, than the so-much-talked-of 
" Paetus, it is not painful," to which these actions led 
the way ; and yet this last is the favourite topic of 
fame,^ while all the former are passed over in pro- 
fouxid silence. Whence we must infer, what I 
observed in the beginning of my letter, tliat the 
most famous actions are not always the most noble. 

' (j/". Martial's famous epigram (i. 14). 




C. Plinius Iulio Serviano Suo S. 

Rectkne omnia, quod iam pridem epistulae tuae 
cessant ? an omnia I'ecte, sed occupatus es tu ? an 
tu non occupatus, sed oecasio seribendi vel rara 
vel nulla? Exime hunc niihi scrupulum, cui par esse 
non possum, exime autem vel data opera tabellario 
misso. Ego viaticum, ego etiam praemium dabo, 
nuntiet rnihi modo, quod opto. Ipse valeo, si valere 
est suspensum et anxium vivere exspectantem in 
horas timentemque pro capite amicissimo, quidquid 
,12 accidere homini potest. Vale. 


/ C. Plinius VibioI Severo Suo S. 

Officiom consulatus Iniunxit mihi, ut reipublicae 
nomine principi gratias agerem. Quod ego in 
senatu cum ad rationem et loci et temporis ex 
more fecissem, bono civi convenientissimum credidi 
eadem ilia spatiosius et uberius volumine amplecti, 
primum ut imperatori nostro virtutes suae veris 
laudibus commendarentur, deinde ut futuri principes 
non quasi a magistro, sed tamen sub exemplo 
' ViBio Mommttn, Mailer, Curio Fpr, K. 
" See Letter xiiL of this book. 

BOOK III. xvii.-xviii 


To Julius Servianus 

Can all be well with you, when you have written 
me nothing for so long ? Or is all well, but you are 
too busy to write ? Or is it, perhaps, that you have 
leisure to write, but no few opportunities of conveying 
your letters ? Free me, I entreat you, from this 
anxiety, which is more than I can bear ; and do so, 
even though it be at the ti'ouble of sending a mail- 
carrier ; I will gladly bear his charges, and even 
"reward him too, should he bring me the news I wish. 
As for myself, I am well, if to be well can mean to 
live in suspense and anxiety, under the hourly 
apprehension of all the accidents which can possibly 
befall the friend one most tenderly loves. Farewell. 


To ViBius Severus 

I WAS obliged, on attaining the consulship,® to 
return thanks to the emperor in the name of the 
Republic ; but after I had performed that ceremony 
in the Senate in the usual manner, and as fully as 
the time and place would allow, I thought it the 
patriotic course to enlarge those, and amplify my 
remarks into a complete discourse. My principal 
view in doing so was, to confirm our emperor in 
his virtues, by paying that tribute of applause to 
them which they so justly deserve ; and next to 
direct future princes, not in the formal way of 
lecture, and yet by the method of example, to those 



praemonerentur, qua potissiraum via possent ad 
eandem gloriam niti. Nam praecipere, qualis esse 
debeat prineeps, pulchrum quidem, sed onerosum 
ac prope superbum est, laudare vero optimum 
principem ac per hoc posteris velut e specula 
lumen, quod sequantur, ostendere idem utilitatis 
habet, adrogantiae nihil. 

Cepi autem non mediocrem voluptatem, quod, 
hunc librum cum amicis recitare voluissem, non per 
codicillos, non per libellos, sed ' si commodum ' et 
'si valde vacaret' admoniti (numquam porro aut 
valde vacat Romae aut commodum est audire reci- 
tantem) foedissimis insuper tempestatibus per biduum 
convenerunt, cumque modestia mea finem recitationi 
facere voluisset, ut adicerem tertium diem, exe- 
gerunt. Mihi hunc honoreni habitum putem an 
studiis ? studiis malo, quae prope exstinota refo- 
ventur. .^^At cui materiae banc sedulitatem praesti- 
teruntl*-^empe quam in senatu quoque, ubi perpeti 
necesse erat, gravari tamen vel puncto temporis sole- 
bamus, eandem nunc, et qui recitare et qui audire 
triduo velint, inveniuntur, non quia eloquentius quam 
prius, sed quia liberius ideoque etiam libentius 
scribitur. Accedet ergo hoc quoque laudibus prin- 

BOOK III. xviii 

paths they must pursue, if they would attain the 
same heights of glory. To instruct princes how 
to form their conduct, is a noble, but difficult task, 
and may, perhaps, be esteemed a presumption ; but 
to applaud the character of an accomplished em- 
peror, and to hold him out to posterity, as a light 
to guide succeeding monarchs, is a method equally 
useful, and much more modest. 

It afforded me a very singular pleasure when I 
recited this panegyric, that my friends gave me 
their company, though I did not solicit them in the 
usual form ot circular billets, but only desired their 
attendance, if it would be agreeable to them, and 
they were entirely disengaged (and, you know, either 
time or inclination is always wanting to men about 
town, when they receive invitations of this kind I) 
Yet, though the weather proved extremely bad, they 
attended the recital for two days together ; and 
when I thought it would be immodest to detain them 
any longer, tliey insisted upon my going through 
with it the next day. Shall I consider this as an 
honour paid to myself, or to polite literature ? 
Rather let me suppose to the latter, v.hich though 
well-nigh extinct, seems to be now again reviving 
amongst us. Yet what was the subject which raised 
This uncommon attention ^ No other than what 
fomierly, even in the Senate, where we were obliged 
to submit to it, we could not hear without enmii, 
though but for a few moments. But now, you see, 
we have patience to recite and attend to a topic of 
this nature for three days together ; and the reason 
of the difference is not that we have more eloquence 
but more liberty than formerly, and consequently, 
write with more spirit. It is an additional glory 



cipis nostri, quod res antea tarn invisa quam falsa 
nunc ut vera ita amabilis facta est. 

Sed ego cum studium audientium turn iudicium 
mire probavi ; animadvert! enim, severissiina quaeque 
vel maxime satisfacere. Memini quidem me non 
multis recitasse, quod omnibus scripsi, nihilominus 
tamen, tamquam sit eadem omnium futura sententia^ 
hac severitate aurium laetor ac, sicut olim theati'a 
male musicos canere docuerunt^ ita nunc in spem 
adducor posse fieri, ut eadem theatra bene canere 
musicos doceant. Omnes enim, qui placendi causa 
scribunt, qualia placere viderint, scribent. /Ac mihi 
quidem confido in hoc genere materiae laetioris stili 
constare rationem,^um ea potius, quae pressius et 
adstrictius, quam ilia, quae liilarius et quasi exsul- 
tantius scripsi, possint videri arcessita et inducta. 
Non ideo tamen segnius precor, ut quandoque veniat 
dies (utinamque lam venerit !), quo austeris istis 
severisque dulcia haec blandaque veliustapossessioney 
decedant. "~" 

Habes acta mea tridui ; quibus cognitis volui 
tantum te voluptatis absentem et studiorum nomine 

" i.e. even where it can justifiably be used. 

BOOK III. xviii 

therefore, to our present emperor, that this sort 
of harangues, which were once as odious as they 
were false, are now as pleasing as they are 

But it was not only the earnest attention of my 
audience which afforded me pleasure ; I was greatly 
delighted too with the justness of their taste ; for I 
observed, that even the more nervous parts of my 
discourse gave them much satisfaction. I am aware, 
indeed, this work, which was written for the perusal 
of the world in general, was read only to a few : 
however, I rejoice at their manly taste as an earnest 
of public approval. It was in eloquence as in music, 
the vitiated ears of the audience introduced a 
depraved style ; but now, I am inclined to hope, as a 
more refined judgement prevails in the public, our 
compositions of both kinds will improve too ; for 
those authors, whose only view is to please, will form 
their works upon the general taste of the people. <^I 
imagine, however, in subjects of this nature thfe 
florid style is most proper ; and am so far from 
thinking that the gay colouring I have used, will be 
esteemed foreign and unnatural, that I am most 
apprehensive that censure will fall upon those parts 
where I have been most plain and unornamented. 
Nevertheless I sincerely wish the time may come, 
(and would to heaven it now were !) when the 
smooth and luscious manner which has infected our 
style, shall yield place even where it has a just 
title," to severe and chaste composition. 

Thus I have given you an account how I have been 
employed these last three days, that your absence 
might not deprive you of a pleasure, which, from 
your friendship to me, and the part you take in 


et meo capere, quantum praesens percipere 
potuisses. Vale. 


C, Plinius Calvisio Rufo Suo S. 

Adsumo te in consilium rei familiaris, ut soleo. 
Praedia agris meis vicina atque etiam inserta venalia 
sunt. In his me multa sollicitant, aliqua nee minora 
deterrent. Sollicitat primum ipsa pulchritude iun- 
gendij deinde quod non minus utile quam voluptuo- 
sum posse utraque eadcm opera, eodem viatico 
invisere, sub eodem procuratore ac paene iisdem 
actoribus liabere, unam villam colere et ornarCj 
alteram tantum tueri. Inest huic computationi 
sumptus supellectilis, sumptus atriensium, topia- 
riorum, fabrorum atque etiam venatorii instrumenti ; 
quae plurimum refert unum in locum conferas an in 
diversa dispergas. 

Contra vereor, ne sit incautum rem tam magnam 
iisdem tempestatibus, iisdem casibus subdere. Tutius 
videtur incerta fortunae possessionum varietatibus 
experiri. Habet etiam multum iucunditatis soli 
caelique mutatio ipsaque ilia peregrinatio inter sua. 

BOOK III. xviii.-xix 

everything that concerns the interest of learning, 1 
know you would have received, if you had been 
present. Farewell. 

To Calvisius Rufus. 

I MUST have recourse to you, as usual, in an affair 
which concerns my finances. An estate is offered to 
be sold which lies contiguous to mine, and indeed is 
intermixed with it. There are several circumstances 
which strongly incline me to this purchase, as there 
are others no less weighty which deter me from it. 
The first recommendation it has is, that throwing 
both estates into one will make a really fine property ; 
the next, the advantage as well as the pleasure of 
being able to visit it under one trouble and expense ; 
to have it looked after by the same agent, and 
almost by the same under-bailiffs ; and to have only 
one villa to maintain handsomely, as it will be suffic- 
ient to keep up the other just in common repair. I 
take into this account, cost of furniture, house- 
keepers, gardeners, workmen, and all the apparatus 
that relates to the game,.i^ it saves a very consider- 
able expense when you are not obliged to keep them 
at more houses than one. 

On the other hand, I don't know whether it is 
prudent to venture so much of one's property under 
the same climate, and to the same casualties; it 
seems a more sure method of guarding against the 
capi-ices of fortune, to distribute one's possessions 
into different situations : besides, there is something 
extremely amusing in shifting the scene, and travel- 
ling from one estate to another. But to mention the 



Liin, quod deliberationis nostrae caput est, agri sunt 
fertiles, pingues, aquosi, constant campis, vineis, 
silvis, quae materiam et ex ea reditum sicut modicum 
ita statum praestant. Sed haec felicitas terrae 
inibecillis cultoribus fatigatur. Nam possessor prior 
saepius vendidit pignora et, dum reliqua colonorum 
minuit ad tempus, vires in posterum exhausit, qua- 
rum defectione rursus reliqua creverunt. Sunt ergo 
instruendi complures frugi mancipes ; nam nee ipse 
usquam vinctos habeo nee ibi quisquam. 

Superest, ut scias, quanti videantur posse enii. 
Sestertio tricies, non quia non aliquando quinquagies 
fuerint, verum et hac penuria colonorum et communi 
temporis iniquitate ut reditus agrorum sic etiam pre- 
tium retro abiit. Quaeris, an hoc ipsum tricies facile 
colligere possimus. Sum quidem prope totus in 
pi'aediis, aliquid tamen foenero, nee molestum erit 
mutuari ; accipiam a socru, cuius area non secus ac 
mea utor. Proinde hoc te non moveat, si cetera non 
refi-agantur,quae velim quam diligentissime examines. 
Nam cum in omnibus rebus turn in disponendis 
facultatibus plurimum tibi et usus et providentiae 
superest. Vale. 

BOOK III. xix 

point of principal difficulty : the lands are rich, 
fertile and well ■•.vatered, consisting chieHy of 
meadow-grounds, vineyards, and woods, the timber 
of which affords a moderate but regular profit : but 
then, the fertility of the soil has been reduced by 
poor husbandry. The person who was last in pos- 
session used frccjuently to seize and sell the tenants' 
stock for debt, by which means, though he lessened 
their arrears for the present, yet he exhausted their 
resoui'ces for the future, and the consequence was, 
that they were again in arrears. I shall be obliged 
therefore to contract for labourers with several 
decent employers of farm-hands, as there are no 
bond-slaves left upon the estate, neither have I any 
on my other properties. 

And now it remains only to inform you of the 
price : I believe I may get it for three millions of 
sesterces. True, it has been formerly sold for five 
millions, but partly by the general calamity of the 
times, and partly by its being th^is_stripj)ed of 
Jabourers, the income of this estate'is reduced, and • 
conVequently its value. You will be inclined, per- 
haps, to inquire whether I can easily raise the pur- 
chase-money? It is true, indeed, my estate is chiefly 
inland; but I have some money placed out at in- 
terest, and I can borrow without difficulty. I 
have alwa3^s a sure resource in the purse of my 
wife's mother, which I can use with the same 
freedom as my own ; so that you need not give your- 
self any trouble as to that article, if you should 
have no other objections, which I beg you would very 
maturely consider : for as in every thing else, so par- 
ticularly in matters of economy no man has more 
judgement and experience than yourself. Farewell. 




C. Pi.iNius Messio Maximo Suo S. 

Meministine te saepe legisse, quantas contentiones 
excitarit lex tabellaria, quantumque ipsi latori vel 
gloriae vel reprehensionis attukrit ? At nunc in 
senatu sine ulla dissensione hoc idem ut optimum 
placuit ; omnes comitiorum die tabellas postulaverunt. 
Excesseramus sane manifestis illis apertisque suffra- 
giis licentiam concionum. Non tempus loquendi, 
non tacendi modestia, non denique sedendi dignitas 
custodiebatur. Magni undique dissonique clamores, 
procuvrebant omnes cum suis candidatis, multa 
agmina in medio multique circuli et indecora confu- 
sio; adeo desciveramus a consuetudine parentum^ 
apud quos omnia disposita, moderata, tranquilla 
maiestatem loci pudoremque retinebant. 

Supersunt senes^ ex quibus audire soleo hunc 
ordinem comitiorum ; citato nomine candidati silen- 
tium summum ; dicebat ipse pro se, vitam suam 

" The author of this law was one Gabiiiius, a tribune of 
the people, A.U.C. 614 (Melm.). 

* One of the fiist acts of Tiberius was to transfer the 
election of magistrates from the comitia centuriata (the 
assembly of the whole people, arranged in "centuries," 
which met in the Campus Martins) to the Senate. Turn 
primum e campo comitia ad 2'cUres translata siuU . . . neque 
populus ademptum ius questiis est nisi inani rumore, et senatus 
largitionibiis ac precibus sordidix exwlntxts lihens tenuit. — Tac. 
Arm. i. 15. What Pliny seems to regret as a good old 




To Messius Maximus. 

You remember, no doubt, to have often read what 
commotions were occasioned by the law which 
directs that the '^ elections of magistrates shall be by 
balloting, and how much the author of it was both 
"approved and condemned. Yet this very rule the 
Senate lately unanimously adopted, and upon the 
election-day, with one consent, called for the ballots. 
It must be owned, the method by open votes had 
introduced into the Senate more riot and disorder 
than is seen even in the assemblies of the people ; 
no regularity in speaking, no respectful silence, 
not even the decorum of remaining seated, was 
observed. It was universal dissonance and clamour ; 
the several candidates running forward with their 
patrons, a serried throng in the middle of the senate- 
house, the rest broken up in small groups, created 
the most indecent confusion. Thus widely had we 
departed from the manners of our ancestors, who 
conducted these proceedings with a calmness and 
regularity suitable to the reverence which is due to 
the majesty of the place. 

I have been informed by some aged persons who 
remember those times, that the method observed in 
their elections was this : ^ the name of the person 
who offered himself for any office beiiig called over, 
a profound silence ensued ; the candidate appeared, 

institution, was really the annihilation of tlie last vestige 
of the Roman people's power. The ballot had long been 
introduced into the Coinitia, but the Senate had hitherto 
retained the practice of open voting. 



explicabatj testes et laudatores dabat vel eum, sub 
quo niilitaverat, vel eum, cui quaestor fuerat, vel 
utrumque, si poterat, addebat quosdam ex suffraga- 
iL toribus ; illi gi'aviter et paucis loquebantur. Plus hoc 
quam preces proderat. Non iiumquam candidatus aut 
natales competitoris aut annos aut etiam mores 
arguebat. Audiebat senatus gravitate censoria. Ita 
saepius digni quam gratiosi praevalebant. 

Quae nunc immodico favore corrupta ad tacita 
suffragia quasi ad remedium decurrerunt ; quod 
interim plane remedium fuit ; erat enim novum et 
subitum. Sed vereor, ne procedente tempore ex ipso 
remedio vitia nascantur. Est enim periculum, ne 
tacitis sufTragiis impudentia irrepat. Nam quoto 
cuique eadem honcstatis cura secreto quae palam ? 
Multi famam^ conscientiam pauci verentur. Sed 
nimis cito de futuris ; interim beneficio tabellarum 
habebimus magistratus, qui maxime fieri debuerunt. 
Nam ut in reciperatoriis iudiciis sic nos in his 
comitiis quasi repente adprehensi sinceri iudices 

Haec tibi scripsi^ primum ut aliquid novi scriberem, 

-"" On reciperatores, see ii. 11 n. 


and, after he had spoken for himself, and given an 
account to the Senate of his'life and manners, called 
witnesses in support of his character. These were, 
either the person under whom he had served in the 
army, or to whom he had been Quaestor, or both (if 
the case admitted of it), to whom he also joined some 
of those friends who esjwused his interest. They 
delivered what they had to say in his favour, in a 
few words, but with great dignity : and this had far 
more influence than humble solicitation. Some- 
times the candidate would object either to the 
birth, or age, or character of his competitor ; to 
which the Senate would listen with a censorial 
gravity ; and thus was merit generally preferred to 

But partisan licence having corrupted this in- 
stitution, recourse was had to balloting, as the most 
probable remedy for this evil. The method being 
new, and summarily adopted, it certainly has hitherto 
answered the purpose ; but, I am afraid, in process 
of time it will introduce new inconveniences ; as this 
silent way of voting seems to afford a loophole to 
effrontery. For how few are there who preserve the 
same delicacy of conduct in secret, as when exposed 
to the view of the world ? The truth is, the generality 
of mankind stand in awe of public opinion, while 
conscience is feared only by the few. But I am 
pronouncing too hastily upon a future contingency ; 
in the meanwhile, thanks to the ballot, we shall have 
such magistrates as best deserve office. For our 
election resembled a trial by special commissioners ; "^ 
we were unbiassed judges, because suddenly seized 
upon, as it were, to deliver judgement. 

I have given you this incident not only as a piece 



deinde ut non numquam de republica loquerer, cuius 
materiae nobis quanto rarior quam veteribus occasio 
tanto minus omittenda est. Et hercule quousque 
ilia vulgaria 'Quid agis ? ecquid commode vales?' 
Habeant nostrae quoque litterae aliquid non humile 
nee sordiduni nee privatis rebus inelusum. Sunt 
quidem cuncta sub unius arbitrio, qui pro utilitate 
communi solus omnium curas laboresque suscepit ; 
quidam tamen salubri quodam temperamento ad nos 
quoque velut rivi ex illo benignissimo fonte deeurrunt, 
quos et haurire ij)si et absentibus amicis quasi minis- 
trare epistulis possumus. Vale. 


C. Plinius Cornelio Frisco Suo S. 

Audio Valerium Martialem decessisse et moleste 

fero. Erat homo ingeniosus, acutus, acer, et qui 

plurimum in scribendo et salis haberet et fellis nee 

candoris minus. Prosecutus eram viatico seceden- 

tem ; dederam hoc amicitiae, dederam etiam versi- 

culis, quos de me composuit. Fuit moris antiqui eos, 

,^—— — — - 

qui vel singulorum laudes vel urbium scripserant, aut 

" A.D. 101-104; the exact date is unknown. Martial had 
retired, probably 9S a.d., to his native town Bilbilis in 


BOOK HI. xx.-xxi 

of news, but because it afrords me an opportunity to 
speak of the republic ; a subject which as we have 
fewei* occasions of mentioning than our ancestors, so 
we ought to be more careful not to let any of them 
slip. In good earnest, I am tired with repeating 
over and over the same compliments, "How d'ye do ?" 
and " I hope you are well." Why should our letters, 
too, for ever turn upon petty domestic concerns ? It 
is true, indeed, the direction of the public weal is in 
the hands of a single person, who, for the general 
good, takes upon himself solely to ease us of the 
care and weight of government ; but still that 
bountiful source of power permits, by a very whole- 
soixie^dispensation, some streams to flow down to us : 
and these we may not only imbibe ourselves, but, as 
it were, administer them by letter to our absent 
friends. Farewell. 


To Cornelius Priscus 

I HAVE just heard of the death « of poor Martial, 
Avhich much concerns me. He was a man of an acute 
and lively genius, and his writings abound in both wit 
and satire, combined with equal candour. When he 
left Rome I complimented him by a present to 
defray the charges of his journey, not only as a 
testimony of my friendship, but in return for the 
little poem which he had written about me. It was^^ 
the custom of the ancients to distinguish those poets 
with honours or pecuniary rewards> who had 
celebrated particular persons or cities in their verses ; 

Spain, whence he issued his last Book of Epigrams (xii) in 
101 A.D. 



honoribus aut pecunia ornare ; nostris vero tempori- 
bus ut alia speciosa et egregia ita hoc in piimis 
exolevit. Nam, postquam desiimus facere laudanda, 
laudari quoque incj)tum j)iitamus. Qiiaeris, qui sint 
versiculi, quibus gratiam rettuli. Remitterem te 
ad ipsum volumen, nisi quosdam tenerem ; tu, si 
placuerint hi, ceteros in libro requires. Adloquitur 
Musatn, mandat, ut domum meam Esquiliis quaerat, 
adeat reverenter : 

Sed ne tempore non tuo disertam 
pulses ebria ianuam, videto. 
Totos dat tetricae dies Minervae, 
dum centum studet auribus virorum 
hoc, quod saecula posterique possint 
Arpinis quoque comparare chartis. 
Seras tutior ibis ad lucernas ; 
haec hora est tua, cum furit Lyaeus, 
cum regnat rosa, cum madent capilli. 
Tunc me vel rigidi legant Catones. 

Meritone eum, qui haec de me scripsit, et tunc 
dimisi amicissime et nunc ut amicissimum defunctum 
esse doleo ? Dedit enim mihi, quantum maxime 
potuit, daturus amplius, si potuisset. Tametsi quid 
homini potest dari maius quam gloria et laus et aeter- 
nitas ? At non erunt aeterna, quae scripsit. Non 
erunt fortasse, ille tamen scripsit, tamquam essent 
futura. Vale. 

" These words summarise the first eleven lines vi the 
epigram (x. 19), the remainder of which Pliny quotes. 


BOOK III. xxi 

but this practice, with every other that is fair and 
noble, is now grown out of fashion ; and in con- 
sequence of having ceased to act laudably, we con- 
sider applause as an impertinent and worthless 
tribute. You will be desirous, perhaps, to see the 
verses which merited this acknowledgement from me ; 
and I believe I can, from my memory, partly satisfy 
your curiosity, without referring you to his works: 
but if you are pleased with this specimen of them, 
you must turn to his poems for the rest. He addresses 
himself to his Muse, whom he directs to seek my 
house upon the Esquiline, and to approach me with 
respect : " 

" Go, wanton Muse, but go with care. 
Nor meet, ill-tim'd, my Pliny's ear. 
He, by sage Minerva taught. 
Gives the day to studious thought. 
And plans that eloquence divine, 
Which shall to future ages shine, 
And rival, wond'rous Tully ! thine. 
Then, cautious, watch the vacant hour, 
When Bacchus reigns in all his power I 
When crown'd with rosy chaplets gay. 
E'en rigid Catos read my lay." 
Do you not think that the poet who wrote in such 
terms of me, deserved some friendly marks of my 
bounty Ihen, and that he merits my sorrow now ? For 
he gave me the most he could, and it was want of power 
only, if his present was not more valuable. But to 
say truth, what higher can be conferred on man than 
fame, and applause, and immortality .'' And though 
it should be granted, that his poems will not be 
immortal, still, no doubt, he composed them upon the 
contrary supposition. Farewell. 




C. Plinius Fabato Prosocero Suo S. 

Cui»is post longum tempus neptem tuam meque 
una videre. Gratum est utrique nostrum, quod cupis, 
mutuo mehercule. Nam invicem nos incredibili 
quodam desiderio vestri tenemur, quod non ultra 
differemus ; atque adeo iam sarcinulas alligamus 
festinaturi, quantum itineris ratio permiserit. Erit 
una, sed brevis mora ; deflectemus in Tuscos, non ut 
agros remque familiarem oculis subiciamus (id 
enim postponi potest), sed ut fungamur necessario 

Oppidum est praediis nostris vicinum (nomen 
Tifernum Tiberinum), quod me paene adhuc puerum 
patronum cooptavit tanto maiore studio quanto 
minore iudicio. Adventus meos celebrat, profectio ni- 
bus angitur, honoribus gaudet. In hoc ego ut re- 
ferrem gratiam (nam vinci in amore turpissimum 
est), templum pecunia mea exstruxi, cuius dedica- 

" Calpurnia, Pliny's wife. 


To Fa BAT us 

You have long desired a visit from your gi-and- 
daughter « and myself. Nothing, be assured, could 
be more agreeable to us both ; for we equally long 
to see you and are determined to delay that pleasure 
no longer. For this purpose our baggage is actually 
making ready, and we shall hasten to you with all 
the expedition the roads will permit. We shall stop 
only once, and that for a short time ; intending to 
turn a little out of the way in order to go into 
Tuscany ; not for the sake of looking upon our 
estate and into our personal property, for that we 
could defer to another opportunity ; but to perform an 
indispensable duty. 

There is a town near my estate called Tifernum- 
upon-the-Tiber, which, making up in goodwill what 
it lacked in judgement, put itself under my patronage 
when I was yet almost a boy. These people cele- 
brate my arrival among them, express the greatest 
concern when I leave them, and rejoice over every 
prefermenfT attain. That I may return their good 
offices (for nothing is baser than to be outdone in 
affection) I have built a temple in this place, at my 



tioneQij cum sit paratum, differre longiiis irre- 
ligiosum est. 

Erimus ergo ibi dedicationis die, quern epulo cele- 
brare constitui. Subsistemus fortasse et sequenti, 
sed tanto magis viam ipsam corripiemus. Contingat 
modo te filianique tiiam fortes invenire ! nam hilares 
certum est, si nos incolumes receperitis. Vale. 


C. Plinius Attio Clementi Suo S. 

Regulus filium aniisit hoc uno malo indignus, quod 
nescio an malum putet. Erat puer acris ingenii, sed 
ambigui, qui tamen posset recta sectari^ si patrem non 
referret. Hunc Regulus ^mancipavit, ut heres 
matris exsisteret ; mancipatum (ita vulgo ex moribus 
hominis loquebantur) foeda et insolita parentibus 
indulgentiae simulatione captabat. Incredibile, sed 
Regulum cogita. Amissum tamen luget insane. 
Habebat puer mannulos multos et iunctos et solutos, 
habebat canes maiores minoresque, habebat luscin- 

'\J;Ca]puinia Hispulla. See iv. 19. 

Jh\ A Roman citizen held the 2)at7-{a poffstas over his legiti- 
mate children for life, unless he cliose to emancipate them by 
a special legal process ; and while under patria potestas they 
were legallj' incapable of owning property. 


BOOK IV. i.-ii 

own expense ; and as it is finished, it would be a sort 
of impiety to omit the dedication of it any longer. 

We design therefore to be there on the day that 
ceremony is to be performed, and I have resolved to 
celebrate it with a general feast. We may possibly 
continue there all the next day, but we shall make 
so much the more expedition upon the road. May^ 
we have the happiness to find you and your daughter'ii/ 
in good health ! as I am sure we shall in good spirits, 
if you see us safely arrived. Farewell. 


To Attius Clemens 

ReguiLus has lost his son; the only undeserved 
misfortune which could have befallen him — and I 
much doubt whether he thinks it one. The boy v/as 
of a sprightly but ambiguous turn ; however, he 
seemed capable enough of steering right, if he could 
have avoided s})litting^-upon his father's example. 
Regulus gave him hisi!'^ ft-eedom, in order to entitle 
him to the estate left^iim by his mother; and then 
endeavoured (as the character of the man made it 
generally believed) to wheedle him out of the 
reversion to it 5.- by the complaisance the most 
revolthig and the most unusual in a parent. This 
perhaps you will scarce think credible ; but consider 
what Regulus is ! However, he now expresses his 
concern for the loss of this youth in a most outrageous 
manner. The boy had a great number of little coach 
and saddle horses ; dogs of large and" small sorts 
tSgelher with parrots, black-birds and- Jliahtingales, 

* Captare {aliquem) was the stock phrase for curryiii" 
favour with a person in order to get a legacy. 

T 2 


ias, psittacos, merulas ; omnes Regulus circa rogum 
trucidavit. Nee ~3olor erat ille, sed ostentatio 

Conveiiitur ad euni mira celebritate. Cuncti detes- 
tantnr, oderimt at, quasi probent, quasi diligant, 
cursant, frequeutant, utque breviter, quod sentio, 
enuntiem, in Regulo demerendo Regulum imitantur. 
Tenet se trans Tiberim in liortis, in quibus latissi- 
mum solum porticibus immensis, ripam statuis suis 
occupavit, ut est in summa avaritia sumptuosus, in 
summa infamia gloriosus Vexat ergo civitatem in- 
saluberrimo tempore et, quod vexat, solacium putat. 
Dicit se velle ducere uxorera, hoe quoque sicut alia 
perverse. Audies brevi nuptias lugentis, nuptias 
senis ; quorum alterum immaturum, alterum serum 
est. Unde hoc augurer, quaeris. Non quia adfinnat 
ipse, quo mendacius nihil est, sed quia certura est 
Regulum esse facturum, quidquid fieri non oportet. 


C. Plinius Arrio Antonino Suo S.* 

Quod semel atque iterum consul fuisti similis 
antiquis, quod proconsul Asiae, qualis ante te, qualis 

' Akkio liicc. K{1), MidUr, om. rdl. 

BOOK IV. ii.-iii 

all these Regulus slew round tJie funeral pile of his 
son, in the ostentation of an affected grief. 

He is visited upon this occasion by a surprising 
number of people, wlio^ though they all detest and 
abhor him^ yet are as assiduous in their attendance 
upon him as if they were influenced by real esteem 
and affection; and, to speak my sentiments in few 
words, endeavour, in courting his fa\ our, to follow his 
exam])le." He is retired to his gardens across the 
Tiber ; where he has covered a vast extent of ground 
with huge porticos, and crowded all the shore with 
liis statues : for he blends prodigalit}' with covetous- 
ness, and vain glory with infamy. By his continuing 
there, he lays society under tlie great inconvenience 
of coming to him at this unwholesome season ; and 
he seems to consider the trouble he puts them to as 
a matter of consolation. He gives out with his usual 
wrongheadedness, that he designs to marry. You 
must expect, therefore, to hear shortly of the wedding 
of a man oppressed with affliction and years ; that is, 
of one who marries both too soon and too late. Do 
you ask me why I conjecture thus ? Certainly, not 
because he affirms it liimself (for never was there 
such a liar) but because there is no doubt that 
Regulus will do everything he ought not. Farewell. 


To Arrius Antoninus 

That you have twice enjoyed the dignity of 
Consul, with a conduct equal to that of our ancient 

" i.t., as an assiduous legacy hunter (cf. ii. 20). Pliny 
insinuates that these people had similar designs on the now 
childless Regulus. (MerrilL) 



post te vix unus aut alter (noii sinit enim me vere- 
cundia tua dicere nemo) quod sanctitate, quod auc- 
toritate, aetate quoque princeps civitatis, est quidem 
veiierabile et pulchrum ; ego tamen te vel magis in 
remissionibus miror. Nam''' sevei'itatem Istam pari 
iucuiiflitate eondire summaeque gravitati tantum 
comitatis adiungere non minus difficile quam magnum 
est. Id tu cum incredibili quadam suavitate ser- 
monum tum vel praecipue stilo adsequeris. Nam et 
loquenti tibi ilia Homerici senis mella profluere et^ 
(piae scribiSj complere apes floribus et nectare 
^ \identur. 

Itacerte sum adfectus ipsCjCumGraecaepigrammata 
tua, cum mimiambos^ proxime legerem. Quantum 
ibi humanitatis, venustatis, quam dulcia ilia, quam 
antiqua, quam arguta, quam recta ! Callimachum 
me vel Heroden, vel si quid his melius, tenere 
credebam f-^quorunj tamen neuter utrumque aut 
absolvit aut attigi*?'' i Horainemne Roraanum tarn 
Graece loqui ? yt'ion medius fidius ipsas Athenas tani 
Atticas dixerim. Quid multa? invideo Graecis, quod 

^ mimiambos D, Skulsch, Kulcula, iainbos rdl. 

» Experienced Nestor, in persuasion skill'd : 

Words sweet as honey from his lips distiil'd. 
^ ~\ n. i. 247. (Pope.) 

\* LJfc. "mimic poems in iambics." The only extant 
specTmeus are the Mimes of Herodas (discovered 1891), 
"little scenes of real life dranTStTsed in dialogue" (Jebb). 
Herodas, whom Pliny mentions below, lived probably 
c. 300-250 B.o. 


BOOK IV. iii 

worthies ; that few (your modesty will not suffer me 
to say none) ever have, or ever will come up to the 
integrity and wisdom of your Asiatic administration ; 
that in virtue, in authority, and even in years you 
are the first of Romans ; these, most certainly, are 
shining and august parts of your character : never- 
theless, I own, it is in your retired hours that I most 
admire you. To season that severity of virtue with 
sprightliness, and to temper dignity with politeness, 
is as difficult as it is great : yet these uncommon 
qualities you have most happily united in those 
wonderful charms, Avhich not only grace your con- 
versation, but pai-ticularly distinguish your writings. 
Your lips, like the venerable old man's in Homer,* 
drop honey, and one would imagine the bee had dif- 
fused her sweetness over all you compose. 

These were the sentiments I had when I lately 
read your Greek epigi'ams and mimeS^ i What ele- 
gance, what beauties shine in this collection ! how 
sweetly the nnmbers flow, and how exactly are they 
wrought up in the true spirit of the ancients ! what 
a vein of wit runs through every line, and how 
conformable is the whole to the rules of just 
criticism ! I fancied I had got in my hands Callima- 
chus " or Herodas^or, if possible, some poet even 
superior to theses^though, indeed, neither of those 
authors excelled iri, or even attempted, both those 
species of poetiyr-i^ Is it possible, that a Roman can 
write Greek in-s5ifruch perfection.'' > I protest I do 
not believe Athens herself can be more Attic. In a 

" Fl. 260 B.C., prince of the Alexandriau school of poetry. 
Besides mythological poems, we have 74 of his epigrams, to 
which Pliny refers here. One is familiar to English readers 
in Cory's lovely translation — "They told me, Ilcraclitus..." 



illorum lingua scribere maluisti. Neque enini 
coniectura eget, quid sermone patrio exprimere 
possis, cum hoc in siticlo et ind ucto tarn praeclara 
opera perfeceris. Vale. 


C. Pi.iNius Sosio Senecioni Suo S. 

Varisidium Nepotem validissime diligo, virum in- 
dustrium, disertum, rectum, quod apud me vel 
potissimum est. Idem C. Calvisium, contubernalem 
meum, amicum tuum, arta propinquitate complec- 
titur ; est enim filius sovoris. Hunc ergo rogo se- 
mestri tribunatu splendidiorem et sibi et avunculo suo 
facias. Obligabis me, obligabis Calvisium nostrum, 
obligabis ipsum,non minus idoneum debitorem, quam 
nos putas. Multa beneficia in multos contulisti : 
ausim contendere nullum te melius, aeque bene vix 
unum aut alterum conlocasse. Vale. 

C. Plinius Julio Sparso Suo S. 

Aeschinem aiunt petentibus Rhodiis legisse ora- 
tionem suam^^deinde Demosthenis>.summis utramque 
clamoribus.xQuod tantorum virorum contigisse scriptis 

" See iii. 8, a. 

BOOK IV. iii.-v 

word, I cannot but envy the Greeks for the prefer- 
ence you have displayed for their language. And 
since you can write thus elegantly iij^an.exptic and 
acquired tongue, it is past conjecture what you could 
nave performed in your own. Farewell. 


To Sosius Senecio 

I HAVE a very singular value for Varisidius Nepos 
as indeed he is a man of industry, eloquence and 
(the chief merit with me) integrity. He is closely 
related to your friend and my comrade, C. Calvisius, 
being his sister's son. I beg therefore, you would do 
him and his uncle the honour of making him one of 
the military tribunes." It will be an obligation to me, 
to our good Calvisius, and to himself; who is as 
solvent a debtor as you reckon me to be. You have 
bestowed numberless good offices upon many ; but I 
will venture to say, you never conferred one that was 
better placed than here ; and but few so Avell. 

To Julius Sparsus 

It is said that when Aeschines, at the request of 
the Rhodians, read to them one of his orations, 
together with that which Demosthenes had com- 
posed upon the same occasion, they were both 
received with the loudest applause. I am not 
surprised that the compositions of such eminent 
"rneii'should be thus warmly admired, when I con- 



non miror, cum orationem meam proximo doctissimi 
homines lioc studio,, hoc adsensu^ hoc etiam labore 
per biduuin juidierint;, quamvis intentionem eorum 
nulla hinc et inde collatio, nullum quasi certameii 
acccnderet. Nam Hhodii cum ipsis orationum 
virtulibus turn etiam comparationis aculeis excita- 
bantur, nostra oratio sine aemulationis gratia proba- 
batur. An merito, scies, cum legeris librum, cuius 
amplitudo non sinit me longiore epistula praeloqui, 
Oportet enim nos in hac certe, in qua possumus, 
breves esse^ quo sit excusatius, quod librum ipsuni, 
non tamen ultra causae amplitudinem, extendimus. 
^ Vale. 


C. Plinius Iulio ^ Nasoni Suo S. 

(, Tusci grandine excussi,|in regione Transpadana 
sumnia abundantia, sed par vilitas nuntiatur; solum 
mihi Laurentinum meum in reditu. Nihil quidem 
ibi possideo praeter tectum et hortum statimque are- 
nas^ solum tamen mihi in reditu. Ibi enim plurimum 
scribo nee agrum, quern non habeOj sed ipsum me 

* I OLIO Rice. (Havet). 

BOOK IV. v.~vi 

sidcr that an oration of mine, 'which I lately recited 
before a very learned audience, was heard with 
equal earnestness, approbation, and even fatigue for 
two daj's successively ; though there was not the 
pleasure which arises from a comparison, and, as it 
'.vere, duel between two rival pieces, to awaken their 
attention. The Rhodians, besides the particular 
merit of the orations, had the entertainment of 
comparing them together, to Avhet their interest ; 
but mine pleased without having the recommendation 
of rivalry ; whether deservedly or not, you will 
ascertain when you i-ead tlie performance ; the 
extent of which will not permit me to introduce it 
to you with a longer letter. For I must be brief 
here, where brevity is possible, in order to excuse 
the better the length of the speech itself: which, 
however, I have not enlarged beyond the bounds my 
subject requires. Farewell. 


To Julius Naso 

A STORM of hail, I am informed, has destroyed all 
the produce of my estate in Tuscany!; while that 
which I have on the other side of the Fo, though it 
has proved extremely fruitful this season, yet from 
the excessive cheapness of every thing, turns to 
small account. My Laurentine seat is the single 
possession which yields me any return. I have 
nothing there, indeed, but a house and gardens, and 
the sands lie just beyond ; still, hoAvever, my sole 
profit comes thence. For there I cultivate, not my 
land (since I have none), but my mind, and form 



studiis excolo ; ac iam possum tibi ut aliis in locis 
horreum plenum sic ibi scrinium ostendere. Igitur 
tu quoque, si certa et fructuosa praedia concupiscis, 
aUquid in hoc litore para. Vale. 

C. Plinius Catio Lepido Sue S. 

Saei'e tibi dico inesse >|jm Rcgulo. Mirum est, 
quam efficiat, in quod incubuit. Plaouit ei lugere 
filium ; luget ut nemo. Plaouit statuas eius et ima- 
gines quam plurimas facere ; hoc omnibus officinis 
agit, ilium coloi'ibus, ilium cera, ilium aere, ilium 
ai'gento, ilium auro, ebore, marmore effingit. Ipse 
vevo nuper adhibito ingenti auditorio librum de 
vita eius recitavit, de vita pueri, recitavit tamen ; 
eundem librum in exemplaria mille transcriptum per 
totam Italiam provinciasque dimisit. Scripsit publice, 
ut a decurionibus eligeretur vocalissimus aliquis ex 
ipsis, qui legeret eum populo. Factum est. 

Hanc ille vim, seu quo alio nomine vocanda est 
intentio, quidquid velis, obtinendi, si ad potiora ver- 
tisset, quantum boni efficere potuisset ! Quamquam 
minor vis bonis quam malis inest, ac, sicut a-iiaBia 

BOOK IV. vi.-vii 

many a composition. As in other places I can shew 
you full barns ; so there I can display a well-stocked 
bookcase. Let me advise you then, if you wish for 
an e"vef -productive farm, to purchase something upon 
this coast. Farewell. 


To Catius Lepidus 

I HAVE often told you that Regulus is a man of 
energy : 'tis surprising how he executes whatever he 
takes in hand. He chose lately to mourn for his 
son ; accordingly he mourns as nobody ever mourned 
before. He took it into his head that he would 
have statues and busts of him by the dozen ; imme- 
diately all the artisans in Rome are set to work. 
In colours, wax, bronze, silver, gold, ivory, marble, 
the young Regulus is depicted again and again. 
Not long ago he read, before a vast audience, a 
memoir upon the life of his son : the life, if you 
please, of a mere boy ! Never mind, he did it. 
Then a thousand copies were written of the said 
memoir, which he dispersed all over the empire. 
He wrote likewise a sort of circular letter to the 
municipal corporations to desire they would each 
select one of their councillors who had a strong, 
clear voice, to read this eulogy to the people ; and I 
am informed it has been done accordingly. 

Had this energy (or whatever else we must call a 
pertinacity in gaining one's ends) been better applied, 
what infinite good might it have produced ! The 
misfortune is, this active cast is generally stronger in 
the vicious than the virtuous, for as "ignorance 



/xlv dpdao^, Xoyicr/xos Bk okvov (pepei, ita recta ingenia 
debilitat verecundia, perversa confirmat audacia. 
Exemplo est Regulus. Imbccillum latus^ os confusum, 
haesitans lingua^ tardissima inventio, memoria nulla, 
nihil denique praeter ingenium insanum, et tarnen eo 
impudentia ipsoque illo furore pervenit, ut a pluri- 
mis orator habeatur. Itaque Herennius Senecio 
mirifice Catonis illud de oratore in hunc e contrario 
vertit : ' Orator est vir malus dicendi imperitus.' 
Non niehereule Gate ipse tain bene verum oratoreni 
quam hie Regulum expressit. 

Habesne, quo tali epistulae parem gratiam referas ? 
Habes, si scripseris, num aliquis in munieipio vestro 
ex sodalibus meis, num etiam ipse tu hunc luctuosum 
Reguli librum ut circulator in foro legeris,''€7rapas 
scilicet, ut ait Demosthenes, tj)v (fuDvrjv koi yeyr]dw<; 
Koi Xapvyyi^oiv. , Est enim tarn ineptus, ut risum 
magis possit exprimere quam gemitum ; credas non 
de puero scriptum, sed a puero. Vale. 


C. Plinius Maturo Arriano Suo S. 

Gratularis mihi, quod acceperim auguratum. 
lure gratularis, primum quod gravissimi principis 

« Thuc. ii. 403. 

' Vir bonus dicendi perittts. Cited by Quiutilian, xii. 1. 

Dem. de Corona, 291. 


BOOK IV. vii.-viii 

begets daring, but reflection breeds hesitancy, " " 
so modesty is apt to depress and weaken the well- 
formed genius, whilst boldness supports and strength- 
ens the perverse. Regulus is a strong instance of 
the truth of this observation : he has weak lungs, an 
indistinct delivery, a halting speech, a slow invention, 
and no memory ; in a word, he has nothing but 
a talent run mad : and yet by dint of impudence and 
this same flighty turn, he passes with many for a 
finished orator. Herennius Senecio admirably re- 
versed Cato's famous definition of an orator^ with 
reference to Regulus : " An orator," said he, " is a 
bad man unskilled in the art of speaking." And, in 
good earnest, Cato's definition is not a more exact 
description of a true orator, than Senecio's is of the 
character of this man. 

Can you make a suitable return to this letter ? 
Yes, you can, by informing me if you, or any of my 
friends in your town, have read this doleful piece of 
his to the people, like a mountebank in the market- 
place, " lifting up his voice with a howl of exultation," 
as Demosthenes puts it.*! For so absurd a performance 
rings more of laughter than lamentation. You 
would fancy the author, not the subject, was a boy. 


To Maturus Arrianus 

It is with justice that you congratulate me on 
attaining to the dignity of Augur ^ ; firstly as it is 
highly glorious to receive, even in the slighter 

<* Conferred on him by Trajan, probably' 103 a.d. See 
X. 13, aaid Introduction. 



I. . 
iudicium in minoribus etiam rebus consequi pulchrum 
est, deinde quod sacerdotium ipsum cum priscum et 
religiosum turn lioc quoque sacrum plane et insigne 
est, quod non adimitur viventi. Nam cetera quam- 
quam dignitate propemodum paria ut tribuuntur sic 
auferuntur, in hoc fortunae hactenus licet, ut dari 
possit. Mihi vero etiam illud gratulatione dignum 
videtur, quod successi lulio Frontino, principi viro, 
qui me nominationis die per hos continuos annos 
inter sacerdotes nominabat, tamquam in locum suum 
cooptaret ; quod nunc eventus ita comprobavit, ut non 
fortuitum videretur. 

Te quidem, ut scribis, ob hoc maxime delectat 
auguratus meus, quod M. Tullius augur fuit. Laetaris 
enim, quod honoribus eius insistam, quern aemulari 
in studiis cupio. Sed utinam, ut sacerdotium idem, 
ut consulatum multo etiam iuvenior quam ille sum 
consecutus, ita senex saltem ingenium eius aliqua ex 
parte adsequi possim ! Sed nimirum, quae sunt in 
manu hominum, et mihi et multis contigerunt, illud 
vero ut adipisci arduum sic etiam sperare nimium est, 
quod dari nisi a dis non potest. Vale. 

" The Emperor's right to "recommend" a candidate vir- 
tually gave him the power of appointing his nominee. 

* Vacancies in the College of Augurs were originally filled 
by co-option of ita members, but under the Empire the 
College annually uominated a list of candidates, one of whom 


BOOK IV. viii 

instances^ a mark of approbation from so Avise and 
judicious a prince " ; and secondly as the priesthood 
itself is not only an ancient and sacred institution, 
but has tliis high and hallowed peculiarity, that it is 
for life. Other Sacerdotal honours, though they may, 
perhaps, equal this in dignity, yet as they are given, 
so they may be taken away : but fortune lias no 
farther power over ihis, than to bestow it. 'Tis a 
further subject for congratulation, in my eyes, that 
I have succeeded so eminent a man as Julius 
Frontinus. He for many years, upon the nomination- 
day of proper persons to be received into the sacred 
college, constantly proposed my name, as if he were 
co-opting me his successor ; * and since it has actually 
proved so in the event, one may look upon it as 
something more than accident. 

But the circumstance, you write to me, that most 
pleases you in my being appointed augur, is, that 
Tully enjoyed the same post ; for you rejoice (you 
tell me) to find that I follow his steps along the 
path of office whom I long to emulate in oratory. I 
wish, indeed, as I have been admitted to the same 
sacred college, and have held the consulship at a 
much earlier age than Cicero, so I might, even late 
in life, catch some spark of his genius ; But, to be 
sure, preferments which are in the gift of man, have 
fallen to me and to many ; whereas what Heaven 
alone can bestow is not more difficult to attain than 
presumptuous to expect. Farewell. 

was elected by the Senate to fill the next vacancy, and then 
formally co-opted by the College. Virginius Rufus had also 
regularly nominated Pliny (i. 8). 

VOL. I. V 



C. Flinius Cornelio Urso Suo S. 

Causam per hos dies dixit lulius Bassus, homo 
laboriosus et adversis suis clarus. Accusatus est sub 
Vespasiano a privatis duobiis, ad senatum remissus 
diu pependit, tandemque absolutus vindicatusque. 
Titura timuit ut Domitiani amicus^ a Domitiano rele- 
gatus est ; revocatus a Nerva sortitusqiie Bithyniam 
rediit reus accusatus non minus acriter quam fideliter 
defensus. Varias sententias habuit, plures tamen 
quasi mitiores. 

~Egit contra eum Pomponius Rufus, vir paratus et 
vehemens ; Rufo successit Theophanes, unus ex 
legatis, [fax accusationis et origo. ' Respond! ego. 
Nam mihi Bassus iniunxerat, ut totius defensionis 
fundanienta iacerem, dicerem de ornamentis suis^ 
quae illi et ex generis claritate et ex pericubs ipsis 
magna erant, dicerem de conspiratione delatorum, 
(piam in quaestu habebant, dicerem causas, quibus 
factiosissimum quemque ut ilium ipsum Theophanem 

/ " See V. 20. 

I \^ Informers had a fourth part of the effects of the persona 

I convicted. (Melm.) 


BOOK IV. ix 


To CoRNKLius Unsus 

The last few days have been occupied by the trial 
of Julius Bassus, a man constantly embarrassed, and 
rendered conspicuous by his misfortunes. In the 
reign of Vespasian, two private persons informed 
against him ; and the affair being referred to the 
Senate, it depended there a considerable time, when 
at last he was honourably acquitted. During the 
reign of Titus, he was under continual apprehensions 
of his resentment, as being a known friend to 
Domitian ; yet when the latter ascended the throne, 
Bassus was exiled. Being afterwards recalled by 
Nerva and having obtained by lot the Proconsulship 
of Bithynia, he was at his return from thence accused 
(of extortion) ; prosecuted with warmth, he has been 
defended with no less firmness. The sentiments of 
his judges were greatly divided; however, the majority 
leaned towards clemency. 

Pomponius Rufus,** a speaker of great resource and 
vivacity, was counsel against him, seconded by 
Theophanes, one of the delegates from the province," 
fand ^he chief promoter and inflamer of this prosecu- 
tion. \X,fpnowed._ofl_ the other side; for Bassus 
insisted that the foundation of his defence should be 
laid by me. I was to represent the distinction 
which his illustrious birth and his very perils 
attached to him ; to expose the informers aaainst 
him as living on the profits of such conspiracies^and 
to display the true reasons which rendered liim 
odious to the seditious generally, and particularly to 

u 2 


offendisset. Eundem me voluerat occurrere crimini, 
quo maxima premebatur. In aliis enim quamvis 
audita <rravioribus non alxsolutionem modo, verum 
ctiain laiidcm merebatur, hoc ilium oncral)at, quod 
homo simplex et incautus quaedam a ])rovincialibus 
ut amicis acceperat. Nam fuerat in provincia eadem 
quaestor. Haec accusatores furta ac rapinas, ipse 
niunera vocabat ; sed lex munera quoque accipi 

Hie ego quid agerem, quod iter defensionis 
ingrcderer ? Negarem ? verebar^ ne plane furtum 
\ ideretur, quod confiteri timerem. Praeterea rem 
manifestam infitiari augentis erat crimen, non diluen- 
tis, praesertim cum reus ipse nihil integrum advo- 
catis reliquisset. Multis enim atque etiam principi 
dixerat sola se munuscula dumtaxat natali suo aut 
Saturnalibus accepisse et plerisque misisse. Veniam 
ergo peterem ? lugulassem ^ reum, quem ita deli- 
quisse concederem, ut servari nisi venia non posset. 
Tamquam recte factum tuerer ? non illi profuissem, 
sed ipse impudens exstitissem. In hac difficultate 
placuit medium quiddam tenere. Videor tenuisse. 

Actionem meam, ut proelia solet, nox diremit. 

^ lugulassem MV, Bip., K, iugularem F Rice, pra, iugu- 
lasset D. 

** Furtum as a legal term covered every species of fraud 
and dishonesty. The allegation was, that Bassus had given 
and received presents with corrupt intent. 

* i.e. by its general tenor, not by specific enactment. 


BOOK IV. ix 

Theophanes ; but above all, to meet the most dam- 
aging charge that was brought against him. For on 
"all the other counts, however serious they might 
sound, he not only deserved to be acquitted, but 
highly commended ; but the gravamen of the in- 
dictment was, that in the simplicity of his heart he 
had incautiously accepted cei'tain things from the 
provincials on the strength of friendship with them 
(for he had been formerly Quaestor in that same 
province). These things, which his accusers called 
tliefts* and plunder, Bassus called presents; but 
presents, too, are vetoed by the Law.* 

Now, what was I to do, and what line of defence 
should I strike into upon this occasion ? If I denied 
the fact, I was afraid it would look as if I dared not 
confess to a patent theft : besides to deny what was 
so notorious, would be to heighten, not to extenuate 
the charge, especially as the accused himself had cut 
the ground from under his counsel. For he had 
acknowledged to many persons, and actually to the 
Emperor, that he received, and sent to nearly 
every one, some merely trifling presents, albeit only 
upon his bii-thday, or at the feast of the Saturnalia. 
Should I then plead for indulgence .'' That would be 
cutting the defendant's throat at once, by confessing 
the nature of his offence was such, that nothing but 
indulgence could save him. Should I then justify 
the fact ? In so doing I should have displayed my 
own impudence without rendering any service to 
Bassus. Under these difficulties I thought it would 
be best to steer a middle course ; and I flatter myself 
I did so. 

But the approach of night broke off my speech, 
even as it is wont to break off battles. I had spoke 



Egeram horis tribus et diinidia^ supererat sesguihora. 
Nam, cum e lege accusator sex horas, novem reus 
accepisset, ita diviserat tenipus reus inter me et cum, 
qui dictunis ])Ost erat, ut ego quinque horis, ille 
reliquis utei'etur. Milii successus actionis silentium 
finemque suadebat. Temerarium est enim secundis 
lion esse contentum. .^Ad hoc verebar, ne mox 
corporis vires iterato labore dcficerent ; quem diffici- 
lius est repetere quam iungere. Erat etiam peri- 
culuin, lie reliqua actio niea et frigus ut deposita et 
taedium ut resumpta pateretur. Ut enim faces ignem 
adsidua concussione custodiunt, dimissum aegerrime 
reparant, sic et dicentis calor et audientis intentio 
continuatione servatur, intercapedine et quasi re- 
raissione languescit. "^-Sed Bassus multis precibus, 
paene etiam lacrimis obsecrabat, implerem nieum 
tempus. Parui utilitatemque eius praetuli meae. 
Bene cessit ; inveni ita erectos animos senatus, ita 
recentes, ut priore actione incitati magis quam satiati i 

Successit mihi Lucceius Albinus tam apte, ut ora- 
tiones nostrae varietatem duarum, contej^tum unius 
habuLsse credantur. Respondit Herennius Pollio 

BOOK IV. ix 

for three hours and a half, so that I had still an hour 
and a half remaining. For the law having allowed 
six hours to the plaintiff, and nine to the defendant, 
Bassus had so divided the allotted time between me 
and the advocate who was to speak after me, that I 
had five hours, and he the rest. But perceiving my 
speech had made a favourable impression, I thought 
it well to hold my peace and make an end ; for it is 
rash, you know, to push one's success too far. Be- 
sides, I was apprehensive I should not have bodily 
strength to renew the struggle, as it is much easier 
to go on without intermission, than to begin again 
after having rested. There was also the danger that 
as the discontinuance of my speech would abate my 
own ardour, so the resumption of it might prove 
tiresome to my hearers. When a harangue is carried 
on in one continued course, the speaker best keeps 
up his own fii-e, and the attention of the audience, 
both which are apt to cool and grow languid upon 
a remission ; just as a continued shaking preserves 
the light of a torch, which- when once it is extinct, 
is not easily re-inflamed. But Bassus, with repeated 
prayers and almost with tears, besought me to use up 
my allotted time ; which I accordingly did, prefer- 
ring his interest to my own. And the event proved 
extremely favourable; for I found the attention of 
the senate as fresh and lively as if it had been rather 
animated, than fatigued by the former part of my 

I was seconded by Lucceius Albinus, who entered 
so thoroughly into my reasoning, that oui- speeches, 
whilst they had the variety of different and distinct 
orations, had the connection and uniformity of one 
entire harangue. Herennius Pollio replied to us 



instanter et graviter, deinde Theophanes rursus. 
Fecit enim hoc quoque ut cetera impudentissime, 
quod post duos et consulares ct discrtos terrqras s\bi 
et quidem laxius vindicavit. Dixit in noctem atque 
etiam nocte illatis lucernis. Postero die egerunt pro 
Basso Titius HomuUus et Fronto mirifice ; quartum 
diem probationes occuparunt. Censuit Baebius 
Macer, consul designatus, lege repetundarum Bassum 
teneri, Caepio Hispo salva dignitate iudices dandos, 
uterque recte. 'Qui fieri potest' inquis 'cum tarn 
diversa censuerint ? ' Quia scilicet et Macro legem 
intuenti consentaneum fuit damnare eum, qui contra 
legem munera acceperat, et Caepio, cum putaret 
licere senatui, sicut licet, et mitigare leges et inten- 
dere, non sine ratione veniam dedit facto vetito qui- 
dem, non tamen inusitato. Praevaluit sententia 
Caepionis, quin immo consurgenti ei ad censendum 
acclamatum est, quod solet residentibus. < Ex quo 
potes aestimare quanto consensu sit exceptum, cum 
diceret, quod tarn favorabile fuit, cum dicturus 
videretur. Sunt tamen ut in senatu ita in civitate in 
duas partes hominum iudicia divisa. Nam quibus 
sententia Caepionis placuit, sententiam Macri ut 

" See ii. 11 n. 

BOOK IV. ix 

witli great spirit and solidity : and after him Theo- 
phanes spoke again : in this, as in every thing else, 
discovering his uncommon assurance, by presuming 
to take up the time of the Senate, and that some- 
what freely, after two such eloquent persons, and 
of consular dignity, had spoken before him. He 
continued haranguing till evening, and even beyond 
it ; for they brought in lights. The next day Titius 
Homulus and Fronto spoke admirably in behalf of 
Bassus. The fourth day was employed in exhibiting 
the proofs. Baebius Macer, the consul-elect, pro- 

~hounced Bassus guilty, under the law relating to 
extortion ; Caepio Hispo moved that, Avithout pre- 
judice to his status, the case should be referred to 
a commission " : both pronounced riglitly. *' How 
can that be," you ask, "since their views were so 
extremely different?" Because, you will observe, 
Macer, looking to the strict letter of the law, might 
very reasonably condemn one who had taken presents 
contrary to the express prohibition of that law. On 
the other hand, Caepio, supposing that the Senate 
had a power (as undoubtedly it has) to moderate or 
extend the rigour of the laws, might upon very good 
grounds grant indulgence to a course of action which, 
though illegal, was not un.common. The motion of 
Caepio prevailed ; nay, when he rose up to put it 
to the house, the same acclamations greeted him 
{IS usually follow when a speaker resumes his seat. 

--You will easily judge, therefore, how warmly his 
speech was approved, when^ he was so favourably 
received on rising to make it.. But I find the senti- 
ments of the public, as well as of the Senate, are 
divided into two parties : they who approve of 
Caepio's vote, condemn Macer's as severe and hard : 



duram rigidamque reprehendunt ; quibus Macri, illam 
alteram dissolutam atque etiam incongruentem vo- 
cant ; ncgant enimcongruens esse retinere in senatu, 
cui iudices dederis. ■. 

Fiiit et tertia sententia. Valerius Paulinus adsen- 
sus Caepioni hoc amplius censuit referendum de 
Theophane, cum legationem renuntiasset. Arguebat 
enim multa in accusatione fecissCj quae ilia ipsa lege, 
qua Bassum accusaverat, tenerentur. Sed banc sen- 
tentiani consules, quamquani maximae parti senatus 
mire probabatur, non sunt persecuti. Paulinus tamen 
et iustitiae famam et constantiae tulit. Misso senatu 
Bassus magna hominum frequentia, magno clamore, 
magno gaudio exceptus est. Fecerat eum favora- 
bilem renovata discriminum vetus fama notumque 
periculis nomen et in procero corpore maesta et 
squalida senectus. 

Habebis banc interim epistulam ut TrpoSpo/xor, ex- 
pectabis orationem plenam onustamque, expectabis 
diu ; neque enim leviter et cursim ut de re tanta 
retractanda est. Vale. 

" Not, of course, the lex repetundae itself. Pliny seems to 
mean that in getting up the case, T. had had money dealings 


BOOK IV. ix 

on the other hand, the partisans of Macer's call the 
former lax and even incongruous. They assert, you 
cannot consistent!}' send a man for"Trial and yet 
permit him to retain his seat in the Senate. 

Tliere was besides those I have mentioned, a 
third opinion. Valerius Paulinus, who agreed Avith 
Caepio, was for adding further that the Senate 
should proceed against Theophanes, after he had 
finished his commission as deputy from the province. 
For he insisted that Theophanes as prosecutor, had 
repeatedly infringed the very law under which he 
had impeached Bassus." But though this proposal 
was in general highly apjiroved by the Senate, yet 
the consuls thought proper to drop it : Paulinus, 
however, had the full credit of so just and resolute a 
motion. At the breaking up of the house, Bassus 
was received by great crowds of people with the 
loudest demonstrations of joy. This new difficulty 
which he had fallen into, had recalled the remem- 
brance of his former troubles; and a name which 
had never been mentioned but in conjunction with 
some misfortune, together with the appearance of 
a fine person broken with sorrow and age, had raised 
general sympathy towards him. 

You may look upon this letter as the fore-runner 
of the full and pregnant speech which you are to 
expect, but not too soon ; for it is a subject of too 
much importance to be revised in haste. Farewell. 

with the provincials which laid him open to a charge he 
had specially urged against Lassus, furtum (see note p. 




C. Plinius Static Sabino Suo S. 

ScRinis niihi Sabinam, quae nos i-cliquit lieredes, 
Modestum servuin suuni nusquam liberum esse 
iussisse, eidem tamen sic adscripsisse k'gatum : 
' Modesto, quern liberum esse iussi.' Quaeris, quid 
sentiam. Contuli cuui prudentibus. Convcnit inter 
omnes nee libertatem deberi, quia non sit data, nee 
legatum, quia servo suo dedei'it. Sed mihimanifestus 
error videtur, ideoque puto nobis, quasi scripserit 
Sabina, faciendum, quod ipsa scripsisse se credidit. 
Confido accessurum te sententiae meae, cum religio- 
sissime soleas custodire defunctorum voluntatem, 
quam bonis heredibus intellexisse pro iure est. 
Neque enim minus apud nos honestas quam apud 
alios necessitas valet. Moretur ergo in libertate 
sinentibus nobis, fruatur legato, quasi omnia dili- 
gentissime caverit. Cavit enim, quae heredcs bene 
elegit. Vale. 

C. Plinius Cornelio Miniciano Suo S. 

AuDisTiNE Valerium Licinianum in Sicilia profiteri ? 
nondum te puto audisse ; est enim rccens nuntius. 

BOOK IV. x.-xi 


To Statius Sabinus 

Your letter informs me, that Sabina, who ap- 
pointed you and me her heirs, though she has 
nowhere expressly directed that her slave Modestus 
shall have his freedom, yet has left him a legacy in 
the following words — " I give, etc., to Modestus, 
whom I have ordered to be made free " ; upon which 
you desire my sentiments. I have consulted upon 
this occasion with experts, and they all agree 
Modestus is not entitled to his liberty, since it is 
not expressly given, and consequently that the legacy 
is void, as being devised to a slave. But it appears 
])lainly to be a mistake in the testatrix ; and there- 
fore I think we ought to act in this case as if Sabina 
had written in so many words, what it is clear she 
imagined she had. I am persuaded you will join 
with me in these sentiments, who always so re- 
ligiously regard the intentions of the deceased ; 
which indeed, where they can be discovered, will 
always be /«/?' to honest legatees. Honour is to you 
and me as strong an obligation, as necessity to 
others. Let us then allow Modestus to enjoy his 
legacy in as full a manner, as if Sabina had made all 
her dispositions in due form. For every testator 
virtually does so, who makes a good choice of heirs. 


To Cornelius Minicianus 

You have scarce, I imagine, yet heard (for the 
news is but just arrived) that Licinianus professes 
rhetoric in Sicily. This ex-Praetor, who was lately 




Praetorius hie modo inter eloquentissimos eausarum 
aetores habebatur, nunc eo deeidit, ut exsul de 
senatore, rlietor de oratore fieret. Itaque ipse in 
j)raefatione dixit dolenter et graviter, 'Quos tibi, 
Fortuna, ludos facis ? facis enim ex professoribus 
senatoreSj ex senatoribus professores.' Cui sen- 
tentiae tantum bilis, tantum amaritudinis inest, 
ut mihi videatur ideo professus, ut hoc diceret. 
Idem, cum Graeco pallio amictus intrasset (carent 
enim togae iure, quibus aqua et igni interdictum est), 
postquam se composuit circumspexitque habitum 
suum, " Latine," inquit, "^declamaturus sum." 

Dices tristia et miseranda, dignum tamen ilium, 
quia haec ipsa studia incesti scelere maculaverit. 
Confessus est quidera incestum, sed incertum, uti-um 
quia verum erat, an quia graviora nietuebat, si 
negasset. Fremebat enim Domitianus aestuabatque 
in ingenti ^ invidia destitutus. Nam, cum Corneliam, 
Vestalium nlaximam,^ defodere vivam concupisset, 
ut qui illustrari saeculum suum eiusmodi exemplis 
arbitraretur, Pontificis maximi iure seu potius imman- 
itate tyranni, licentia domini reliquos pontifices non 
in Regiam, sed in Albanam villam convocavit. Nee 
minora scelere, quam quod ulcisci videbatur, absen- 
tem inauditamqiie damnavit incesti, cum ipse fratris 

» in ingenti Eicc. F D, K, in om. M Vpra. 
"^ Vestalium maximam MV, maximillam vestalem 7^ ^icc. 

" Lit. " those interdicted from the use of fire and water." 
The old formula of banishment was a sort of excommuni- 


BOOK IV. xi 

esteemed the most eloquent of our advocates, is now 
fallen from a senator to an exile, from an orator to 
a teacher of rhetoric. Licinianus himself alluded 
to this sad change in strong and poignant terms, 
when making the prefatory remarks at the opening 
to a lecture, " O Fortune," said he, " how caprici- 
ously dost thou sport with mankind ! Thou makest 
rhetoricians of senators, and senators of rhetoricians ! " 
a sarcasm so full of gall, that I fancy he turned 
rhetorician on purpose to utter it. On entering his 
class-room in a Grecian cloak (for exiles "' are denied 
the privilege of the Roman gown), " 'Tis in Latin," 
says he, adjusting and looking upon his habit, " that 
I am going to declaim." 

You will say, this situation, wretched and deplor- 
able as it is, is what he well deserves for having 
sullied his profession by the crime of incest.^ And 
indeed, he confessed to the charge ; but whether 
because he was guilty, or because he apprehended 
worse consequences if he denied it, is not clear. 
For Domitian was raging with baffled fury under the 
intense odium that he had recently incurred. He 
had set his heart on having Cornelia, the Head of 
the Vestal Virgins, buried alive, from an extrava- 
gant notion that those kind of exemplary severities 
did honour to his reign. Accordingly, in the cha- 
racter of high-priest, or rather indeed in that of a 
cruel tyrant, he convened the Sacred College, not 
in the pontifical court where they usually assemble, 
but at his villa near Alba ; and there (by a sentence 
no less wicked, as it was passed when Cornelia was 
not present to defend herself, than the action he 
professed to avenge), he condemned her on the 
* i.e. by an amour with a Vestal Virgin. iSee next note. 



filiam incesto non polluisset solum, verum etiam 
occidisset ; nam vidua abortu periit. 

Missi statim pontificeSj qui defodiendam necan- 
damque curarent. Ilia nunc ad Vestam, nunc ad 
ceteros dcos manus tendens multa, sed hoc frequen- 
tissime clamitabat : 'Me Caesar incestam putat, qua 
sacra faciente vicit, triumphavit ? ' Blandiens haec 
an irridens, ex fiducia sui an ex contemptu principis 
dixerit, dubium est. Dixit, donee ad supplicium, 
nescio an innocens, certe tamquam innocens ducta 
est. Quin etiam, cum in illud subterraneum cubicu- 
lum deniitteretur, haesissetque descendenti stola, 
vertit se ac recollegit, cumque ei carnifex manum 
daret, aversata est et resiluit foedumque contagium 
quasi plane a casto puroque corpore novissima sancti- 
tate reiecit omnibusque numeris pudoris ttoWijv 
TTpovoiav ecrx^v cva^rjIJ-f^v Treaeli'. 

Praeterea Ceier, eques Romanus, cui Cornelia 
obiciebatur, cum in comitio virgis caederetur, in hac 
voce perstiterat : ' Quid feci ? nihil feci.' 

" Unchastity in a Vestal Virgin was regarded as incest bj^ 
Roman Law, since the Vestals were in theory daughters of 
the State, and sisters to all citizens. 

* Meaning her guilt would have brought disaster to his 

•= Doniitian twice celebrated a triumph after victories over 
barbarians, which were popularly but unjustly regarded as 
imaginary. See Merrill, p. 306. 

<« Eurip. Hec. 569. 

BOOK IV. xi 

charge of incest." Yet he himself had not only 
incestuously debauched his brother's daughter, but 
was also accessory to her death : for that lady being 
a widow, endeavoured to procure an abortion and 
by that means lost her life. 

However, the priests were immediately dis- 
patched to see the sentence of death by burying 
alive performed. As for Cornelia, she implored 
now Vesta, now the rest of the Gods ; and amongst 
other exclamations, frequently cried out, *' Is it 
possible that Caesar can think me polluted, 
during whose exercise of sacred functions he has 
conquered and triumphed ? " ^ Whether she said 
this in flattery or derision; from a consciousness of 
her innocence, or contempt of the emperor, is not 
certain ; •= but she continued exclaiming in this 
manner, if perhaps not guiltless, at least with every 
appearance of innocence, until she was carried off 
to execution. As she Vv^as sent down into the sub- 
terraneous cell, her gown hung upon something in 
the way ; on her turning back to disengage it, the 
executioner offered her his hand, which she, stai-tinsT 
back with averted face, refused, as if by a last im- 
""l^nlse of chastity warding off his polluting touch 
from her pure and spotless person. Thus she 
observed every point of modesty in the concluding 
scene of her life — - 

"And took much forethought decently to fall."^ 

Celer likewise, a Roman knight, who was accused 
of being her gallant, during the whole time his 
sentence of death by scourging was executing upon 
him, in the square near the Senate-house, persisted in 
saying, " What have I done ? I have done nothing." 

VOL. I. X 


Ardebat ergo Domitianus et crudditatis et iniqui- 
tatis infamia. Arripit Licinianum, quod in agris 
suis occultasset Corneliae libertam. J lie ab iis, 
quibus erat curae, praemonetur, si comitium et virgas 
• pati nollet, ad confessionem confugeret quasi ad 
veniam ; fecit. Locutus est pro absente Herennius 
Senecio tale quiddam, quale est illud, Kctrat ITarpo- 
kXos. Ait enim : 'Exadvocato nuntius factus sum: 
recessit Licinianus.' Gratum hoc Doiiiitiano adeo 
quidem, ut gaudio proderetur dicei-etque : ' Absolvit 
nos Licinianus.' Adiecit etiam non esse verecundiae 
eius instandum ; ipsi vero permisit, si qua posset, ex 
rebus suis raperet, antequam bona publicarentur 
exsilium molle, velut jiraemium, dedit. Ex quo 
tamen postea dementia div i Nervae translatus est in 
Siciliam, ubi nunc profitetur seque de foituna prae- 
fationibus vindicat.") 

Vides, quam obsequenter paream tibi, qui non 
solum res urbanas, verum etiam peregrinas tam 
sedulo scribo, ut altius repetam. Et sane putabam 
te, quia tunc afuisti, nihil aliud de Liciniano audisse 
quam relegatum ob incestum. Summam enim rerum 
nuntiat fama, non oi'dinem. Mereor, ut vicissim, 
quid in oppido tuo, quid in finitimis agatur (solent 

i <• Antilocliua thus announces his death to Achilles, II. 
\ xviii. 20. 


BOOK IV, xi 

Hence Domitian lay under an imputation of 
cruelty and injustice^ which extremely exasperated 
him. Licinianus then, being arrested by his orders 
on the charge of having concealed a freed-wonian of 
("ornelia's on his country estate, was advised by the 
Emperor's emissaries, to seek mercy by a confession 
if he wished to avoid the last punishment ; which he 
accordingly did. Herennius Senecio spoke for him 
in his absence, something in the style of that well- 
known Homeric j:)hrase, " Dead is Patroclus ! " <* *'' In- 
stead of an advocate/' said he, " I must turn messen- 
ger : Licinianus offers no defence." This news was 
so agreeable to Domitian, that he could not forbear 
betraying his satisfaction: "Then," says he, " Lici- 
nianus has acquitted us." And went so far as to add, 
" We must not bear too hardly on him in his 
disgrace." He accordingly permitted him to carry 
off such of his effects as he could secure before they 
were confiscated, and, as it were, rewarded him, by 
the mild penalty of banishment. Licinianus was 
afterwards, by the clemency of the late emperor 
Nerva, transferred to Sicily, wliere he now gives 
lessons in rhetoi'ic, and takes his revenge on Fortune 
l)y his ])refatory remarks. 

You see how obedient I am to your commands, by 
my ferreting out and sedulously communicating not 
only domestic but foreign news. I imagined, to be 
sure, as all this happened in your absence, that you 
liad heard nothing about Licinianus beyond the fact 
of his banishment for incest. For rumour usually 
reports the upshot, not the coiu'se of an affair. I 
think I deserve in return a full account of all that 
happens iu your town * and its neighbourhood ; for 
'' Apparently Milan. 

X 2 


enim notabilia quaedam incidere), perscribas, denique, 
quidquid voles, dum modo non minus longa epistula, 
nuuties. Ego non paginas tantum, sed versus etiara 
syllahasque nunierabo. Vale. 

C. Plinius Matuho Arriano Suo S. 

Am AS Egnatium Marcellinum atque etiam milii 
saepe coniniendas ; amabis magis conimendabisque, si 
cognoveris recens eius foctum. Cum in provinciam 
quaestor exisset scribamque, qui sorte obtigerat, ante 
legitimum salarii tempus amisisset, quod acceperat 
scribae daturus, intellexit et statuit subsidere apud se 
non oportere. Itaque reversus Caesarem, deinde 
Caesare auctore senatum consuluit, quid fieri de salario 
vellet. Parva, sed tamen quaestio. Heredes scribae 
sibi, praefecti aerari populo ^ vindicabant. Acta 
causa est ; dixit beredum advocatus, deinde populi, 
uterque perconimode. Caecilius Strabo aerario 
censuit inferendum, Baebius Macer lieredibus dan- 
dum ; obtinuit Strabo. 

Tu lauda Marcellinum, ut ego statim feci. Quam- 

vis enim abunde sufticiat illi, quod est et a principe 

et a senatu probatus, gaudebit tamen testimonio tuo. 

^ aerari populo K, aerario populuque Fpra, aerario 
populo D. 


BOOK IV. xi.-xii 

occurrences constantly arise there worth relating ; 
however, write anything, provided you send me a 
letter as long as mine. But take notice, I shall 
count not only the pages, but even the very lines and 
syllables. Farewell. 


To Maturus Arrianus 

I KNOW you love Marcellinus ; as indeed you have 
frequently mentioned him to me with approb.ition ; 
but he will rise still higher in your affection and 
esteem when you learn what he has lately done. 
When he went Quaestor into one of the provinces, 
the secretary assigned to him by lot ha])pening to die 
before his salary became due, Marcellinus saw, and' 
decided, that he ought not to keep in his pocket 
the sum which had been given him in order to pay 
that salary. At his return therefore he ap])lied to 
Caesar, who referred the consideration of what should 
be done with this money to the Senate. It was a 
question indeed of no great importance : however, a 
question it was. The heirs of the secretary claimed 
it for themselves, and the Prefects of the Treasury 
for the public. The cause was tried, and counsel 
were heard, who spoke extremely well on both sides. 
Caecilius Strabo moved that the money be paid into 
the Treasury ; Baebius Macer, that it be given to the 
heirs ; Strabo's motion was carried. 

Pray compliment Marcellinus on this action, as I 
did immediately ; for though he is amply satisfied by 
the approval of the Emperor and the Senate, yet he 
will rejoice over a token of yours. Those who are 



Oinnes cnini, qui gloria famaque ducuntur, mirum in 
modum adseiisio et laus a minoribus etiam profecta 
delcctat. Te vero Marcellinus ita reveretur, ut 
iudicio tuo pluriinum tribuat. Accedit his, quod, si 
cognoverit factum suum isto usque penetrasse, ne- 
cesse est laudis suae spatio et cursu et peregrina- 
tione laetetur. Etenim nescio quo pacto vel magis 
homines iuvat gloi'ia lata quam magna. Vale. 



Sai.vum te ^ in urbem venisse gaudeo ; venisti autem 
si quando alias, nunc maxime mihi desideratus. Ipse 
pauculis adhuc diebus in Tusculano ^ commorabor, ut 
opusculum, quod est in manibus, absblvam. Vereor 
cnim, ne, si hanc intentionem iam in finem laxavero^ 
aegre resumam. Interim, ne quid festinationi meae 
pereat, quod sum praesens petiturus, hac quasi prae- 
cursoria epistula rogo. Sed prius accipe causas 
rogandi, deinde ipsum, quod peto. 

Proxime cum in pati'ia mea fui, venit ad 
me salutandum municipis mei filius praetextatus. 
Huic ego * Studes ? ' inquam. Respondit, 'Etiam.' 

^ CoRNELlo Rice. [Havel), Bipons, om. rell. 

' te pr«, om. rell. 

* Tusculano codd. edd., Tuscaiio Mommitn, sed cf. v. 6, 45. 


BOOK IV. xii.-xiii 

actuated by the desire of fame and glory are amaz- 
ingly gratified by approbation and praise, even 
though it comes from their inferiors ; but Marcellinus 
has so high an esteem of you, as to attach the 
highest value to your judgement. Besides all which, 
when he finds that the news of his action lias pene- 
trated to your distant retreat, he cannot but exult for 
that his fame has travelled so widely and so far. Foi", 
1 know not how it is, mankind are generally more 
pleased with an extensive than even a great re2)u- 
tation. Farewell. 

To Cornelius Tacitus 

I REJOICE that you are safely arrived in Rome ; for 
though I am always desirous to see you, I am more 
particularly so now. I purpose to continue a few 
days longer at my Tusculum estate in order to finish 
a little work which I have upon my hands. For I 
am afraid, sliould I put a stop to this design, now 
that it is so nearly completed, I should find it 
difficult to resume it. MeanAvhile, that I may strike 
while the iron is hot, I send this letter, like an 
avant-courier, to request a favour of you, which I mean 
shortly to ask in person. But before I inform you 
what my request is, I must let you into the occasion 
of it. 

Being lately at my native place, a young lad, son 
to one of my fellow-townsmen, made me a visit. " Do 
you go to school ? " I asked him. " Yes," said he. 
" And where > " He told me, " At Milan." « " And 

" About eighty miles from Conium, his own and Plin3''s 
native town. 


' Ubi ? ' ' Mediolani.' ' Cur non hie ? ' Et pater 

eius (erat enim una atque etiam ipse adduxerat 

puerum) : ' Quia nullos hie praeceptores habemus.' 

' Quare nullos ? nam vehementer interest vestra^ qui 

patrcs estis' (et opportune complures patrcs 

audiebant), ' liberos vestros hie potissimum diseere. 

Ubi enim aut iucundius morarentur quam in patria 

aut pudicius continerentur quam sub oculis parentum 

aut niinore sumptu quam domi ? Quantulum est 

ergo collata pecunia conducere praeceptores, quodque 

nunc in habitationes, in viatica, in ea, quae peregre 

emuntur (omnia autem peregre emuntur), impenditis, 

adicere niercedibus ? Atque adeo ego, qui nondum 

liberos habeo, paratus sum pro republica nostra quasi 

pro filia vel parente tertiam partem eius, quod con- 

ferre vobis placebit, dare. Totum etiam pollicerer, 

nisi timerem, ne hoc munus meum quandoque ainbitu 

corrumpei'etur, ut accidere multis in locis video, in 

quibus praeceptores publice conducuntur. Huic 

vitio uno remedio occurri potest, si parentibus solis 

ius conducendi relinquatur, iisdemque religio recte 

iudicandi necessitate collationis addatur. Nam, qui 

fortasse de alieno neglegentes, certe de suo diligentes 

erunt dabuntque operam, ne a me pecuniam [non] ^ 

nisi dignus accipiat, si acceptunis et ab ipsis erit. 

^ [non] ind. Bipons, K {Gesnero aucL), " aid non aut nisi 
delendum " Miilkr. 

BOOK IV. xiii 

why not here ? " " Because " (said his father, who 
was present, and had in fact brought the boy with 
him), "we have no teachers." "How is that?" said 
I ; " surely it nearly concerns you who are fathers " 
(and very opportunely several of the company were 
so) " that your sons should receive their education 
here, rather than any where else. For where can 
they be placed more agreeably than in their own 
country, or maintained in more modest habits and at 
less expense, than at home and under the eye of 
their parents? Upon what very easy terms might 
you, by a general contribution, procure teachers^^ji" 
you would only apply towards raising a salary for 
them what you now spend on your sons' lodging, 
journeys, and whate\er a man has to pay for when 
abroad (which means, paying for everything). Why, 
I, who have as yet no children myself, am ready to 
give a third part of any sum you shall think proper to 
raise for this j)Urpose, for the benefit of our Common- 
wealth, whom I regard as a daughter or a parent. 
I would take upon myself the whole expense, were 1 
not apprehensive that my benefaction might here- 
after be abused and perverted to private ends ; as I 
have observed to be the case in several places where 
teachers are engaged by the local authorities. The 
single means to prevent this mischief is, to leave the 
choice of the professors entirely in the breast of the 
parents, who will be so much the more careful to 
detennine properly, as they shall be obliged to shai-e 
the expense of maintaining them. For though they 
may be careless in disposing of another's bounty, 
they will certainly be cautious how they apply their 
own ; and will see that none but those who deserve 
it shall receive my money, when they must at the 

• 313 


Proinde consentite, conspirate maiorcmque animuni 
ex meo sumite, qui cupio esse quam plurimum, quod 
debeam conferre. Nihil honestius praestare liberis 
vestris, nihil gratius patriae potestis. Educentur hie, 
qui hie nascuntur, statimque ab infaiitia n.ttale solum 
amare, frcquentare consuescant. Atque utinam tarn 
claros praeceptores inducatis, ut finitimis^ oppi- 
dis studia hine petantur, utque nunc liberi vestri 
aliena in loea ita mox alieni in hunc locum 
confluant !/ 

FLaec putavi altius et quasi a fonte repetenda, quo 
m.igis scires, quam gratum mihi foret, si susciperes, 
quod iuiungo, Iniungo autem et pro rei magni- 
tudine rogo, ut ex copia studiosonim, quae ad te ex 
admiratione ingenii tui convenit, circumspicias prae- 
ceptores, quos sollicitare possimus, sub ea tamen 
condicione, ne cui fidem meam obstringam. Omnia 
enim libera parentibus servo; illi iudicent, illi 
eligant ; ego mihi curam tantum et impendium vin- 
dico. Proinde, si quis fuerit repertus, qui ingeniosuo 
fidat, cat illuc ea lege, ut hinc nihil aliud certum 
quam fiduciam suam ferat. Vale. 

1 ut fin. R M V, Miilkr, ut in fin. FDpa, at a fin. r, etiam 
fin. coni. K. 


BOOK IV. xiii 

same time receive theirs too. Let my example then 
encourage you to unite heartily in this design ; and 
be assured the greater the sum my share shall 
amount tOj the more agreeable it will be to me. 
You can undertake nothing more advantageous to 
your children, nor more acceptable to your country. 
They will by this means receive their education 
where they receive their birth, and be accustomed 
from their infancy to inhabit and affect their native 
soil. May you be able to procure professors of such 
distinguished abilities, that the neighbouring towns 
shall be glad to draw their learning from hence ; 
and as you now send your children to foreigners 
for education, may foreigners hereafter flock hither 
for their instruction." 

I thought pi'oper thus to lay open to you the rise 
of this affair, that you might be the more sensible 
how agreeable it will be to me, if you undertake the 
office I request. I entreat you, therefore, with all 
the earnestness a matter of so much importance 
deserves, to look out, amongst the great numbers of 
men of letters which the reputation of your genius 
brings to you, teachers to whom we may apply for 
this purpose ; but it must be understood that I 
cannot make a binding agreement with any of them. 
For I would leave it entirely free to the parents to 
judge and choose as they shall see proper: all the 
share I pretend to claim is, that of contributing my 
care and my money. If therefore any one shall be 
found who relies upon his own talents, he may 
repair thitlier ; but under the proviso that the said 
reliance is all he can count upon, so far as I am 
concerned. Farewell. 




C. Plinius Paterno Suo S. 

Tu fortasse orationem, ut soles^ et flagitas et 
exspectas, at ego quasi ex aliqua peregrina delicata- 
que merce lusus meos tibi prodo. Accipies cum 
liac epistula hendecasyllabos nostros, quibus nos in 
vehiculo, in balineo^ intei* cenam oblectamus otium 
temporis. His iocamur^ ludimus, amamus, dcjlemus, 
querimur, irascimur, describimus aliquid modo pressius, 
niodo elatius atque ipsa varietate tentamus efficere, ut 
alia aliis, quaedam fortasse omnibus placeant. Ex 
quibus tamen si non nulla tibi paulo petulantiora 
videbuntur, erit eruditionis tuae cogitave summos 
illos et gravissimos viros, qui talia scripserunt, non 
modo lascivia rerum, sed ne verbis quidem nudis 
abstinuisse ; quae nos refugimus^ non quia severiores 
(unde enim ?), sed quia timidiores sumiis. Scimus 
alioqui huius opusculi illam esse verissimam legem, 
quam Catullus expressit : 

Nam castum esse decet plum poetam 
ipsum, versiculos nihil necesse est, 
qui tunc denique habent salem et leporem, 
si sunt molliculi et parum pudici.^ 
* Calull. xvi. 5. 

BOOK IV. xiv 


To Paternus 

You expect and demand^ perhaps^ as usual, an 
oration ; but I am going to put into your hands, as if 
they were some clioice bits of foreign merchandise, 
some of mv poetical amusements. You will receive 
then with this letter a collection of my hendecasyl- 
labic verses, which I write to while away an idle 
hour upcjji the road, in the bath, or at table. They 
express different moods — ^jesting, frivolous, amorous, 
melancholy, plaintive, or irate ; or give descriptions, 
in a style sometimes concise, and sometimes lofty. 
I endeavoured by this variety to hit different tastes 
v.'ith different pieces, and provide a few, perhaps, of 
general relish. If you should meet with any passages 
which may seem too free, your reading will supply 
you with my apology, in the example of those great 
and venerable names who have gone before me in 
the same kind of writing, who without scrup.le have 
employed not only the warmest descriptions, but the 
plainest terms. This, however, is a liberty I have 
not allowed myself; not as pretending to more 
austerity (for why should I ?) but because, in truth, 
I have less courage. Nevertheless, I entirely approve 
of the rule which Catullus lays down for this kind of 
compositions : 

" Let the poet's conduct be 
Free from wanton levity : 
Not so his Muse — her sportive lay 
Pleases most, when most she's gay." 


Ego quanti faciam iudicium tuum^ vel ex hoc potes 
aestiraare, quod nialui omnia a te pensitari quani 
electa laudavi. vEt sane quae sunt coramodissinia, 
desinunt videri,cum paria esse coepenint. ) Praeterea 
sapiens subtilisque lector debet non diversis conferre 
diversa, scd singula expendere ncc deterius alio 
putai'e, quod est in suo geneve perfectum. Sed quid 
ego plura? nam longa praefatione vel excusare vel 
commcndare ineptias, ineptissimum est. Unum 
illud praedicendum videtur^ cogitare me has nugas 
nieas inscribere ' hendecasyllabos/ qui titulus sola 
metri lege constringitur. Proinde, sive epigrammata 
sive idyllia sive eclogas 'sive, ut multi, poematia 
seu quod aliud vocare malueris, licebit voces, ego 
tantuni hendecasyllabos praesto. 

A simplicitate tua peto, ut, quod da libello 
meo dictnrus es aliis, mihi dicas ; neque est diffi- 
cile, quod postulo. Nam, si hoc opusculum nos- 
trum aut potissimum csset aut solum, fortasse 
posset durum videri dicere : 'Quaere, quod agas'; 
molle et humanum est : * Habes, quod agas.' 


BOOK IV. xiv 

You must look upon it as an instance of the great 
value I set upon your judgement, that I venture to 
submit the wliole to your examination, rather than 
select out of them some of the more finished pieces 
for your approbation. And, indeed, poems which are 
Ideally excellent no longer seem so when they appear 
in company. But a sensible and discerning reader 
ought not to compare pieces of distinct sorts with 
one another, but examine each performance apart ; 
and if a poem is perfect in its kind, not reckon it 
inferior to another of a different class. But I will 
say nothing more ; for to excuse or recommend my 
foolish verses by a long preface, would be the excess 
of folly. I will only therefore premise farther, that 
I design to call these trifles of mine Hendecasyllables, 
a title which will cover any sort of poem composed 
in that measure. Call them, if you think proper. 
Epigrams, Idylls, Eclogues (as many others have). 
Little Poems ; in a word, give them what name you 
please, I ofl^er them only as Hendecasyllables.'^ 

What I beg of your sincerity is, that you would 
speak your opinion of them to me, with the same 
freedom that you would to others. When I ask this, 
I think, I lay you under no difficulty. If, indeed, 
these little poetical essays were my only or chief 
productions, it might sound, perhaps, a little harsh 
to advise me to find something else to do; but you 
may with great delicacy and politeness tell me, I 
have something else to do. Farewell. 

" The eleven-syllabled metre (made famous by Catullus) 
had been so largely emploj'sd for one theme, that " hendeca- 
eyllabica " became a synonym for erotic poetry. 





C. Plinius Minicio^ Fundano Suo S. 

Si quid omiiino, hoc ceite iudicio facio, quod 
Asinium Rufuni singulariter anio. Est homo 
eximius et bonorum amantissimus. Cur enim non 
me quoque inter bonos nuraerem ? Idem Corneliuna 
Taciturn (scls^ quem virum) arta familiaritate com- 
plexus est. Proinde, si utrumque nostrum probas^ 
de Rufo quoque necesse est idem sentias> cum sit ad 
connectendas amicitias vel tenacissimum vinculum] 
morum similitudo. Sunt ei liberi plures. Nam in 
hoc quoque functus est optinii civis officio^ quod 
fecunditate uxoris large frui voluit eo saeculo^^uo 
plerisque etiam singulos filios orbitatis praemia graves 
faciunt ; quibus ille despectis, avi quoque nomen 
adsumpsit. Est enim avus, et quidem ex Saturio 
Firmo, quem diliges ut ego, si ut ego propius 

Haec eo pertinent, ut scias, quam copiosam, quam 
numerosam domura uno beneficio sis obligaturus ; ad 
quod petendum voto primum, deinde bono quodam 
omine adducimur. Optamus enim tibi ominamurque 
in proximum annum consulatum ; ita nos virtutes 
^ MiNicio solus Rice. 
" Lit. " the rewards attaching to childlessness." 



If I can pretend to judgement in any thing, it is 
undoubtedly in the singular affection which I have 
for Asinius Rufus. He is a person of the highest 
merit, and a devoted friend to good men — for why 
may I not venture to include myself among the 
good ? He and Tacitus (to whose eminent virtues 
you are no stranger) are united in the strictest 
intimacy. If therefore you esteem Tacitus and 
myself, you cannot but have the same favourable 
sentiments of Rufus ; for a similitude of manners is, 
you know, the strongest cement of friendship. He 
has several children. For in this, as in other respects, 
he has fulfilled the duty of a good citizen, that he 
has chosen to reap the full blessing of a fruitful 
marriage ; knd this in an age when even one child is 
thought a burthen, as it prevents that lucrative 
adulation which is usually paid to those who have 
none." But he scoi*ns such low views, and has added 
the title of grandfather to his paternal dignity ; for 
which he is indebted to Saturius Firmus, a person 
whom you would esteem as much as I do, if you 
knew him as well. 

My design in all this detail, is, to let you see, what 
a numerous family you may oblige by conferring a 
single favour : a favour which I am induced to 
solicit both by the wish of my heart, and a certain 
good omen for its fulfilment. For I wish, and augur too, 
that you shall be Consul the approaching year : and 
in this presage I am confirmed both by your own 


VOL. I. V 


tuae, ita iudicia priucipis augurari volunt. Con- 
currit autem, ut sit eodem anno quaestor maximus ex 
liberis Rufi, Asinius Bassus, iuvenis (nescio, an dicam, 
quod me pater et sentire et dicere cupit, adulescentis 
verecundia vetat) ipso patre melior. Difficile est^ ut 
^- mihi de absente credas, quamquam credere soles om- 
nia, tantum in illo industriae, probitatis, eruditionis, 
ingenii, studii, memoriae denique esse, quantum 
expertus invenies. Vellemtam ferax saeculum bonis 
artibus haberemus, ut aliquos Basso praeferre 
deberes ; turn ego te primus hortarer moneremque, 
circumferres oculos ac diu pensitares, quern potissi- 
mum eligeres. Nunc vero — sed nihil volo de amico 
meo adrogantius dicere, hoc solum dico, dignum 
esse iuvenem, quern more maiorum in filii locum 

Debent autem sapientes viri ut tu tales quasi 
liberos a republica accipere^ quales a natura solemus 
optare. Decorus erit tibi consuli quaestor patre 
praetorio, propinquis consularibus, quibus iudicio 
ipsorum quamquam adulescentulus adhuc iam tamen 
invicem ornamento est. Proinde indulge precibus 
meis, obsequere consilio et ante omnia, si festinare 
videor, ignosce, primum quia votis suis amor plerum- 
que praecurrit, deinde quod in ea civitate, in qua 


conspicuous merit, and the distinguishing judgement 
of the emperor. It is a further coincidence^ that 
Asinius Bassus, the eldest son of Rufus, should attain 
the Quaestorship in the same year. I know not 
whether I ought to say (which, liowever, the father 
would have me both say and think, though the 
youtli is too modest to allow of it) that he is an even 
better man than his father. Were I to represent 
his abilities, his probity, his learning, his genius, his 
application and his parts as great as you will most 
certainly experience them, you, who never yet 
suspected my veracity, Avould scarce conceive, not 
having yet met him, that he deserved the character. 
I wish our age so abounded in merit, as to supply 
some whom you might justly prefer to him. In that 
case I should be the first to advise you to look about 
and to consider for a long time where to fix your 
choice : but as it is — however I will not speak of my 
friend in too arrogant a strain. I will only say, he is 
a young man, who deserves you should look upon 
him in the same relation, as our ancestors used to 
consider their Quaestors, that is, as your son. 

Men of your character for wisdom should choose 
their political children of the same cast they would 
wish nature to form their real ones. It will be an 
honour to your Consulship to have a Quaestor whose 
father has been Praetor, and whose relations Consuls, 
yet who, though but a youth, reflects back to his 
family (and that by their own confession) as much 
credit as he derives from it. Let me entreat you 
then to comply with my petition and my advice. 
Above all, if I seem jiremature, I beg you will pardon 
me, when you consider that affection commonly runs 
ahead of its wishes ; again, that in a State where 

Y 2 


omnia quasi ab occupantibus agiintur, quae legitimum 
tempus exspectant, non matura, sed sera sunt, deinde, 
quod reruni, quas adsequi cupias, praesumptio ipsa 
iucunda est. 

Revereatur iam te Bassus ut consulem, tu dilige 
eum ut quaestoreni, nos denique utriusque vestrum 
arnantissinii duplici laetitia pei'fruamur. Eteiiim, 
cum sic te, sic Bassum diligamus/ut et ilium cuius- 
cumque et tuum quemcumque quaestorem in petendis 
honoribus omni ope, labore, gratia simus iuvaturi,J^ 
perquam iucundum nobis erit, si in eundem iuvenem 
studium nosti'um et amicitiae meae et consulatus tui 
ratio contulerit, si denique precibus meis tu potissi- 
mum adiutor accesseris, cuius et suffragio senatus 
libentissime indulgeat et testimonio plurimuni 
credat. ^'^ale. 


C. Plinius Valerio Paulino Suo S. 

Gaude meo, gaude tuo, gaude etiam publico 
nomine ; adhuc bonor studiis durat. Proxime cum 
dicturus apud centumviros essem, adeundi mihi locus 
nisi a tribunali, nisi per ipsos indices non fuit ; tanta 
stipatione cetera tenebantur. Ad hoc quidam 
ornatus adulescens scissis tunicis, ut in frequentik 

<• i.e., in this case, the following year; when Minicius 
would be Consul, and Basaua would attain the age (twenty- 

BOOK IV. xv.-xvi 

every office is held on the principle of first come first 
served, appointments are not seasonable, but overdue 
when deferred until the legitimate time "• ; finally, 
that to antedate the achievement of one's desires is 
in itself a pleasure. 

Allow Bassus then to revere you as already Consul, 
and do you in return esteem him as your Quaestor ; 
and let me, who fervently love you both, enjoy a 
twofold happiness. For, as I so equally value Bassus 
and yourselfthat I shall assist with all my assiduity 
and credit both him, to whomsoever he may be 
Quaestor, and your Quaestor, be he who he may, 
when they stand for higher office; so it will be 
extremely agreeable to me if my twofold regard for 
my own friend, and for your Consular dignity, should 
centre my endeavours upon one and the same young 
man ; if, in fine, my solicitations have your support, 
in whose suffrage the Senate most gladly acquiesces, 
and to whose testimony they attach the utmost value. 


To Valerius Paulinus 

Rejoice, my friend, not only upon my account, but 
your own, and that of the public ; for oratory is still 
held in honour ! Being lately engaged to plead in a 
cause before the Centumviri, the crowd was so great 
that I could not get to my place, but by way of the 
tribunal and the very seats of the jury. And I have 
to add, that a young nobleman having got his tunic 

seveu) at which a Roman became legally eligible for the 
ofiBce of Quaestor — the first step in the > unua honorum. 


solet, sola velatus toga perstitit et quidem horis 
septem. Nam tarn diu dixi magno cum labore, sed 
maiore cum fructu. Studeamus ergo nee desidiae 
nostrae praetendamus alienam. Sunt, qui audiant, 
sunt qui legant, nos modo dignum aliquid auribus 
dignum chartis elaboremus. Vale. 


C Plinius AsiNio Gallo Suo S. 

Et admones et rogas, ut suscipiam causam Corel- 
liae absentis contra C. Caecilium, consulem designa- 
tum. Quod admones, gratias ago, quod rogas, 
queror. Admoneri enim debeo, ut sciam, rogai-i non 
debeo, ut faciam, quod mihi non facere turpissimum 
est. An ego tueri Corelli filiam dubitem ? Est 
quidem milii cum isto, contra quem me advocas, non 
[)lane familiaris, sed tamen amicitia. Accedit hue 
dignitas hominis atque hie ipse, cui destinatus est, 
honor ; cuius nobis hoc maior agenda ^ reverentia est, 
quod iam illo functi sumus. Naturale est enim, ut 
ea, quae quis adeptus est, ipse quam amplissima 
existimari velit. Sed mihi cogitanti adfuturum me 
Corelli filiae omnia ista frigida et inania videntur. 

' agenda Rice. FDpra, K, habenda M V. 

BOOK IV. xvi.-xvii 

torn, as will happen in a crowd, stood in nothing but 
his toga to hear me for seven hours together. For 
so long I was speaking ; and with a success greater 
than my great fatigue. Come on then, my friend, 
and let us earnestly pursue our studies, nor screen 
our own indolence under pretence of that of the 
public. We shall find no lack, rest assured, of 
either hearers or readers, if only we elaborate com- 
positions worth the hearing, and worth connnitting 
to parchment. Farewell. 


To Gallus 

You acquaint me that Caecilius, the consul elect, 
has commenced a suit against Corellia, and earnestly 
beg me to undertake her cause in her absence. As 
I have reason to thank you for your information, so I 
have to complain of your entreaties : without the 
first, indeed, I should have been ignorant of this 
affair, but I want no solicitations to comply, where it 
would be most base in me to refuse ; for can I 
hesitate a moment to defend a daughter of Corellius ? 
It is true, indeed, you are calling me to oppose a man 
with whom I am on friendly, though not intimate, 
terms. He has further claims in his high rank, and 
in the mere fact of his prospective office, which I am 
the more bound to revere as having already filled it 
myself. For it is natural for a man to wish those 
offices should be i-eckoned illustrious, which he him- 
self once possessed. Yet all these objections seem 
feeble and inane when I reflect that it is the daughter 
of Corellius whom I am to defend. 



Obversatur oculis ille vir, quo neminem aetas 
nostra graviorem, sanctiorerrij subtiliorem denique 
tulit ; quem ego cum ex admiratione diligere coepis- 
sem, quod evenire contra solet, magis admiratus sum^ 
postquam penitus inspexi. Inspexi enim penitus ; 
nihil a me ille secretum, non ioculare, non serium, 
non triste, non laetum. Adulescentulus eram, et 
iam mihi ab illo honor atque etiam (audebo dicere) 
reverentia ut aequali habebatur. Ille meus in 
petendis lionoribus suffragator et testiSj ille in inchoan- 
dis deductor et comeSj ille in gerendis consiliator et 
rector^ ille denique in omnibus officiis nostris, quam- 
quam et imbecillus et senior, quasi iuvenis et validus 

Quantum ille famae meae domi, in publico, quan- 
tum etiam apud principem adstruxit ! Nam, cum 
forte de bonis iuvenibus apud Nervam imperatorem 
sermo incidisset, et plerique me laudibus ferrent, 
paulisper se intra silentium tenuit, quod illi plurimum 
auctoritatis addebat ; deinde gravitate, quam noras, 
' Necesse est,' inquit, ' parcius laudem Secundum, 
quia nihil nisi ex consilio meo facit.' Qua voce 
tribuit mihi, quantum petere voto immodicum erat, 
nihil me facere non sapientissime, cum omnia ex 
consilio sapientissimi viri facerem. Quin etiam 

BOOK IV. xvii 

The image of that excellent person, than whom 
this age has not produced a man of greater dignity, 
rectitude, and penetration, rises on my mental vision. 
I began to love him out of admiration ; and contrary 
to what is usually the case, my admiration increased 
after I came to know him thoroughly. Which indeed 
I did ; for he had no merry or earnest thought, no 
mood grave or gay, that he concealed from me. 
When I was but a youth, he respected, and (I will 
even venture to say) revered me, as if I had been 
his equal. When I solicited any office, he supported 
me with his interest, and recommended me by his 
testimony ; when I entered upon it, he was my 
introducer and my escort ; while I exercised it, he 
was my guide and my counsellor. In a word, during 
my whole official career, though he was both infirm 
and elderly, he displayed the energy of a young man 
in robust health. 

In private, in public, and at Court, how often has 
he advanced my reputation ! It happened once, that 
the conversation before the Emperor Nerva turned 
upon the hopeful young men of that time, and 
several of the company were pleased to mention me 
with applause ; Corellius sat for a little while silent, 
which gave what he said the greater weight ; and 
then with that air of dignity, to which you are no 
stranger, " I must be reserved," said he, " in my 
praises of Pliny, because he does nothing without 
my advice." By which single sentence he gave 
me a greater character than I would presume even 
to wish for, as he represented my conduct to be 
always such as Avisdom must approve, since it was 
wholly under the direction of one of the wisest of 
men. Even in his last moments he said to his 



moriens filiae suae, ut ipsa solet praedicare : ' Multos 
quidem amicos/ inquit, ' tibi in longiore vita paravi, 
praecipuos tamen Secundum et Cornutum.' Quod 
dum recordor, intellego mihi laborandum, ne qua 
parte videar lianc de me fiduciam providentissimi 
viri destituisse. 

Quare ego vero Corelliae adero promptissime nee 
subire offensas recusabo ; quamquam non solum 
veniam me, varum etiam laudem apud istum ipsum, 
a quo, ut ais, nova lis fortasse ut feminae intenditur, 
arbitror consecuturum, si haec eadem in actione, 
latius scilicet et uberius, quam epistularum angustiae 
sinunt, contigerit mihi vel in excusationem vel etiam 
in commendationem meam dicere. Vale. 


C. Plinius Arrio Antonino Sue S. 

QuEMADMODUM magis adprobare tibi possum, 
quantopere mirer epigrammata tua Graeca, quam 
quod quaedam aemulari Latine et exprimere temptavi? 
in deterius quidem. Accidit hoc pi'imum imbecillitate 
ingenii mei, deinde inopia ac potius, ut Lucretius ait, 
' egestate patrii sermonis.' ^ Quodsi haec, quae 
sunt et Latina et mea, habere tibi aliquid venustatis 
videbuntur, quantum 2:)utas inesse iis gratiae, quae 
mihi et a te et Graece proferuntur ? Vale. 

1 Lucr. i. 832. 

BOOK IV. xvii.-xviii 

daughter (as she often mentions)^ " I have in the 
course of a long life raised up many friends to you ; 
but there is none that you may more assuredly 
depend upon, than Pliny and Cornutus." A remark 
I cannot call to mind without perceiving how 
earnestly I must endeavour not to belie in any wise 
the forecast of one so gifted with prevision. 

I shall therefore most readily appear for Corellia 
in this affair ; nor shrink from the risk of giving 
offence by doing so. Though I think the very man 
who is bringing what you call " this novel form of 
suit" (possibly as it is against a woman), will not only 
, excuse but applaud me, if I have the opportunity of 
stating these same reasons, by way of apology or 
maybe recommendation (more at large, of course, 
than the limits of a letter permit), in my speech to 
the jury. Farewell. 


To Arhius Antoninus 

Can I give you a stronger proof how much 1 
admire your Greek epigrams, than by having endea- 
voured to imitate and express some of them in 
Latin? — to their detriment, I confess. This 
inferiority results firstly from the weakness of my 
poetic genius ; secondly from the poverty, or, rather, 
as Lucretius has it, "the destitution of our mother- 
tongue." But if these poems, even when translated, 
and translated by me, retain for you some measure 
of their beauty, what must their charms be, do you 
imagine, when they are presented to me in Greek, 
and in Greek composed by you ? Farewell. 



C. Plinius Cau'URNiae Hispullae Suae S. 

Cum sis pietatis exemi)liim fratremque optimum et 
amantissimum tui pari caritate dilexeris filiamque 
eius ut tuam diligas nee tantum amitae ei, verum 
etiam patris amissi adfectum repraeseiites, non dubito 
maximo tibi gaudio fore, cum cognoveris dignam 
patre, dignam te, dignam avo evadere. Summum est 
acumen, summa frugalitas, amat me, quod castitatis 
indicium est. Accedit his studium litterarum, quod 
ex mei caritate concepit. Meos libellos habet, 
lectitat, ediscit etiam. Qua ilia sollicitudine, cum 
videor acturus, quanto, cum egi, gaudio adficitur ! 
Disponit, qui nuntient sibi, quern adsensum, quos 
clamores excitarim, quern eventum iudicii tulerim. 
Eadem, si quando recito, in proximo discreta velo 
sedet laudesque nostras avidissimis auribus excipit. 
Versus quidem meos cantat etiam formatque cithara 
non artifice aliquo docente, sed amore, qui magister 
est optimus. 

His ex causis in spem certissimam adducor per- 
petuam nobis maioremque in dies futuram esse con- 
cordiam. Non enim aetatem meam aut corpus, quae 
paulatim occidunt ac sencscunt, sed gloriam diligit. 
Nee aliud decet tuis manibus educatam, tuis prae- 

" Calpurnia, Pliny's wife. * Fabatus. 

BOOK IV. xix 


To Calpurnia Hispulla 

As you are an exemplary instance of tender regard 
to your family in general, and to your late excellent 
brother in particular, whose wai'm attachment you 
returned with an equal fondness : and have not only 
shewn the affection of an aunt, but supplied that of 
a lost father, to his daughter*^ ; you will hear, I am 
persuaded, with infinite pleasure, that she behaves 
worthy of her father, her grandfather,* and yourself. 
She is incomparably discerning, incomparably thrifty ; 
while her love for her husband betokens a chaste 
nature. Her affection to me has given her a turn 
to books ; and my compositions, which she takes 
a pleasure in reading, and even getting by heart, 
are continually in her hands. How full of solici- 
tude is she when I am entering upon any cause ' 
How kindly does she rejoice with me when it 
is over ! When I am pleading, she stations mes- 
sengers to inform her from time to time how I 
am heard, what applauses I receive, and what success 
attends the cause. When at any time I recite my 
works, she sits close at hand, concealed behind a 
curtain, and greedily overhears my praises. She sings 
my verses and sets them to her lyre, with no other 
master but Love, the best instructor. 

From these circumstances I draw my most assured 
hopes, that the hai-mony between us will increase with 
our days, and be as lasting as our lives. For it is 
not my youth or my person, which time gradually 
impairs ; it is my glory of which she is enamoured. 
But what else could be expected from one who was 



ceptis institutam, quae nihil in contubernio tuo vi- 
derit nisi sanctum honestumque, quae denique amare 
me ex tua praedicatione consueverit. Nam, cum 
matrem meam parentis loco verereris, me a pueritia 
statim formare, laudare talemque, qualis nunc uxori 
meae videor, ominari solebas. Certatim ergo tibi 
gratias agimus, ego, quod illam mihi, ilia, quod me 
sibi dederis, quasi invicem elegeris. Vale. 


C. Plinius Nonio Maximo Suo S. 

Quid senserim de singulis libris tuis, notum tibi, 
ut quemque pei'legeram, feci ; accipe nunc, quid de 
universis generaliter iudicem. Est opus pulchrum, 
validum, acre, sublime, varium, elegans, purum, figur- 
atum, spatiosum etiam et cum magna tua laude 
difFusum, in quo tu ingenii simul dolorisque velis 
latissime vectus es ; et horum utrumque invicem 
adiumento fuit. Nam dolori sublimitatem et magni- 
ficentiam ingenium, ingenio vim et amaritudinem 
dolor addidit. Vale. 


C. Plinius Velio Cereali Suo S. 

Tristem et acerbum casum Helvidiarum sororum ! 
Utraque a partu, utraque filiam enixa decessit. 


BOOK IV. xix.-xxi 

trained by your hands, and formed by your instruc- 
tions ; who was surrounded under your roof with all 
that is pious and moral, and had learned to love me 
from your account of my character ? For while you 
honoured my mother as if she were your own, so 
you formed and encouraged me from infancy, pre- 
saging that I should become all that my wife now 
thinks I am. Accept therefore of our mutual 
thanks, that you have given us to each other, and, 
as it were, chosen the one for the other. Farewell. 


To Nonius Maximus 

I HAVE already acquainted you with my opinion 
of each separate part of your work, as I perused it ; 
I must now tell you my general thoughts of the 
whole. It is a strong and beautiful performance ; 
it is vigorous, sublime, diversified, elegant, chaste, 
and full of imagery : moreover, its copious and dif- 
fusive eloquence raises a very high idea of the author. 
You seem borne away on the full sails of a strong 
imagination and deep sorrow, which mutually assist 
and heighten each other ; for your genius gives 
sublimity and majesty to your sorrow ; and your 
sorrow adds strength and poignancy to your genius. 


To Velius Cereaus 

How severe a fate has attended the daughters of 
Helvidius ! These two sisters are both dead in 
child-bed, after having each of them been delivered 



Adficior dolore nee tamen supra modum doleo ; ita 
mihi luetuosuni videtur, quod puellas honestissimas 
in flora primo fecunditas abstulit. Angor infantium 
sorte, quae sunt parentibus statim, et dum nascuntur^ 
orbatae, angor optimorum maritorum, angor etiam 
meo nomine. Nam patrem illarum defunctum quo- 
que perseverantissime diligo, ut actione mea librisque 
testatum est ; cui nunc unus ex tribus liberis supei-est 
domumque pluribus adminiculis paulo ante fundatam 
desolatus fulcit ac sustinet. 

Magno tamen fomento dolor mens acquiescet, si 
Inmc saltern fortem et incolumem paremque illi 
patri, illi avo fortuna servaverit. Cuius ego pro 
salute, pro moribus hoc sum magis anxius, quod 
unicus factus est. Nosti in amore mollitiam animi 
mei, nosti metus ; quo minus te mirari oportebit, 
quod plurimum. timeam, de quo plurimum spero. 


C. Pi.iNius Sempronio Rufo Suo S. 

Interfui pi-incipis optimi cognitioni in consilium 
adsumptus. Gymnicus agon apud Viennenses ex 
cuiusdam testamento celebrabatur. Hunc Trebonius 

" See ix. 13. ' The famous Helvidius Priscus, put to 

death in exile under Vespasian. 

BOOK IV. xxi.-xxii 

of a girl. This misfortune pierces me with keen, 
yet not excessive sorrow ; for indeed, to see two 
such amiable young ladies fall a sacrifice to their 
fruitfulness in the prime and flower of their years, 
is a misfortune which I cannot too greatly lament. 
I grieve for the unhappy condition of the poor 
infants, who are thus become orphans from their 
birth ; I grieve for the sake of the excellent 
husbands of these ladies ; and I grieve, too, for my 
own. The affection I bear to the memory of their 
late father, is inviolable, as my defence of him in 
the Senate,* and all my writings will witness for me. 
Of three children which survived him there now re- 
mains but one ; and his family that had lately so many 
noble supports, rests only upon a single mourner ! 

It will, however, be a great mitigation of my 
affliction, if Fortune shall kindly spare that one, and 
render him worthy of his father, and grandfather*; 
and I am so much the more anxious for his welfare 
and good conduct, as he is the only scion of the family 
remaining. You know the softness and solicitude of 
my heart where I have any tender attachments : you 
must not wonder then, that I have many fears, where 
I have great hopes. Farewell. 


To Sempronius Rufus 

I LATELY attended our excellent Emperor as one 
of his assessors, in a cause wherein he himself pre- 
sided. A certain person left by his will a fund for 
the establishment of gymnastic games at Vienna." 
• In Gallia Narbonensia, now Vienne^ 



Rufinus, vir egregius nobisque amicus, in duumviratu 
suo^ tollendum abolendumque curavit. Negabatur 
ex auctoritate publica fecisse. Egit ipse causam non 
minus feliciter quam diserte. Commendabat ac- 
tionem, quod tamquam liomo Romanus et bonus civis 
in negotio suo mature et graviter loquebatur. Cum 
sententiae perrogarentur, dixit Junius Mauricus, quo 
viro nihil firmius, nihil verius, non esse restituendum 
Viennensibus agona ; adiecit : ' Vellem etiam Romae 
tolli posset.' 

Constanter, inquis, et fortiter. Quidni ? sed hoc a 
Maurico novum non est. Idem apud Nervam imper- 
atorem non minus fortiter. Cenabat Nerva cum 
paucis; Vei_entoj)roximus atque etiam in sinu recum- 
bebat. Dixi omnia, cum hominem nominavi. Incidit 
sermo de Catullo Messalino, qui luminibus orbatus "^ 
ingenio saevo mala caecitatis addiderat. Non vere- 
batur, non erubescebat, non miserebatur ; quo saepius 
a Domitiano non secus ac tela, quae et ipsa caeca et 
improvida feruntur, in optimum quemque contorque- 
batur. De huius nequitia sanguinariisque sententiis 
in commune omnes super cenam loquebantur, cum 
ipse imperator, ' Quid putamus passurum fuisse, si 
viveret .'' ' Et Mauricus : * Nobiscum cenaret.* 

^ suo Rice. Fpa, Miiller, om. MVB, K. 
* orbatus Ric. Fa, K, Kukula, Merrill, captus M V, 

" The Duumviri were two magistrates who exercised in 
their respective corporations the same functions as the 
Consuls at Rome ; they were chosen out of the body of 
Decuriones, or looal senators. 

? An infamous sycophant and informer under Domitian. 
r*. Another notorious informer, whom Juvenal couples with 
Veiento. •» 

BOOK IV. xxii 

These my worthy friend Trebonius Rufinus, when he 
exercised the office of Puumvirj" had ordered to be 
totally abolished ; and it was now alleged that 
he had no official power to do so. He pleaded 
his own cause as successfully as eloquently ; and 
what particularly recommended his speech was, 
that he delivered it with the deliberate gravity 
proper to a true Roman and a good citizen in dealing 
with a personal matter. When the sentiments of 
the assessors were taken, Junius Mauricus (who in 
resolution and integrity has no superior) pronounced 
that these games should not be restored to the people 
of Vienna; "and I would," added he, "they could 
be abolished at Rome too ! " 

This, you will say, was an instance of great firmness 
and courage, but it is nothing new in Mauricus. He 
gave as strong a proof of his courage before the 
Emperor Nerva. Being at supper one evening with 
that prince and a few select friends, Veiento* was 
placed next to the Emperor, and actuaTty~Teclin^d 
upon his bosom. To name the man is to say all ! 
The discourse happened to turn upon Catullus 
Messalinus,* who had a soul as dark as his body; 
Tor"lTe"was not only cursed with want of sight, but 
want of humanity. As he was uninfluenced either 
l)y fear, shame, or compassion, Domitian all the 
more frequently used him to fling against every 
man of worth, precisely as a dart, that flies sightless 
and senseless to its mark. l"he company were 
talking of the sanguinary counsels and infamous 
practices of this creature. "And what," said the 
Emperor, " would have been his fate had he lived 
till now? " "He would be supping with us/' replied 

z 'i 


Longius abii, libens tamen. Placuit agona tolli, 
qui mores Vieiinensium infecerat ut noster hie om- 
nium. Nam Viennensium vitia intra ipsos residunt, 
nostra late vagantur, utque in corporibus sic in im- 
perio gravissimus est morbus, qui a capite diffunditur. 


C. Flinius Pomponio Basso Sue S. 

Magnam cepi voluptatem, cum ex communibus 
amicis cognovi te, ut sapientia tua dignum est, et dis- 
ponere otium et ferre, habitare amoenissime et nunc 
terra, nunc mari corpus agitare, multum disputare, 
multum audire, multum lectitare, cumque plurimum 
scias, cotidie tamen aliquid addiscere. Ita senescere 
oportet virum, qui magistratus amplissimos gesserit, 
exercitus rexerit totumque se reipublicae, quam diu 
decebat, obtulerit. Nam et prima vitae tempora et 
media patriae, extrema nobis impertire debemus, ut 
ipsae leges monent, quae maiorem annis [lx] ^ otio 
reddunt. Quando milii licebit, quando per aetatem 
honestum erit imitari istud pulcherrimae quietis 
exemplum ? quando secessus mei non desidiae 
nomen, sed tranquillitatis accipient ? Vale. 

' LX add. Bipons, et ed. qua usus est Melmoth. 

" A senator was not obliged to attend the business of the 
house, after that age. (Melmoth.) 

BOOK IV. xxii.-xxiii 

But to return from this long digression, into whicli, 
liowever, I did not fall undesignedly. It was deter- 
mined these games should be suppressed, which had 
greatly infected the manners of the people of Vienna; 
as they have universally had the same effect among 
us. But the vices of the Viennenses are confined 
within their own walls ; ours spread far and wide ; 
and it is in the body politic, as in the natural, those 
disorders are most dangerous that flow from the head. 


To FoMj'ONius Bassu.s 

I HAVE heard with great pleasure from our common 
friends, that you support and dispose of your leisure 
in retirement, as becomes a man of your distinguished 
wisdom ; that you inhabit a most delightful spot, 
take exercise by land and sea, and mix learned con- 
ferences with much reading ; and are daily increasing 
that immense fund of knowledge you already pos- 
sess. To grow old in this way behoves one who has 
discharged the highest civil offices, commanded an 
army, and who gave himself wholly up to the 
service of the Commonwealth, as long as it became 
him to do so. Our youth and manhood we owe to 
our country, but our declining age is due to our- 
selves ; as the laws themselves seem to suggest, 
which consign us to retirement, when we are arrived 
beyond our sixtieth year." How do I long for the 
time when I shall enjoy tliat happy privilege I 
When my years will justify my following the example 
of your honourable repose ! When my retirement 
shall not be termed indolence, but calm ! Farewell. 



C. Plinius Fa bio V^ai.enti Suo S. 

Proxime cum apud centumviros in quadruplici 
iudicio dixissem, subiit recordatio egisse me iuvenem 
aeque in quadruplici. Processit animus, ut solet, 
longius ; coepi reputare, quos in hoc iudicio, quos 
in illo socios laboris habuissem. Solus eram, qui in 
utroque dixissem. Tantas conversiones aut fragilitas 
mortalitatis aut fortunae mobilitas facit. Quidam 
ex iis, qui tunc egerant, decesserunt, exsulant alii, 
huic aetas et valetudo silentium suasit, hie sponte 
beatissimo otio fruitur, alius exercitum regit, ilium 
civilibus officiis principis amicitia exemit. 

Circa nos ipsos quam multa mutata sunt ! Studiis 
processimus, studiis periclitati sumus rursusque pro- 
cessimus. Profuerunt nobis bonorum amicitiae, 
bonorum obfuerunt iterumque prosunt. Si computes 
annos, exiguum tempus, si vices rerum, aevum putes ; 
quod potest esse documento nihil desperare, nulli 
rei fidere, cum videamus tot varietates tarn volubili 
orbe circumagi. Mihi autem familiare est omncs 
cogitationes meas tecum communicare iisdemquc 

» See i. 18 n. ^ i P''?' _ 

* The term amicitia Ca'esari.s or principis, denoted a 
semi-official relation, involving personal attendance on the 
Emperor. Cf. iii 5. 

'^ By rendering Pliny suspect to Doniitian (iii. 11, vii. 27). 


BOOK IV. xxiv 

To Fabius V^ a lens 

After pleading the other day before the Centum- 
viri sitting as one court, I recollected having pleaded 
as a youngster before the same fourfold court^^/I 
could not forbear, as usual, to pursue the reflectibh 
my mind had started ; I began to reckon up the 
advocates who had shared my labours in the present 
and in the former cause, and I found I was the only 
person remaining who had been counsel in both : 
such changes does the fragile nature of mortals, or 
the vicissitudes of Fortune, produce ! Death had re- 
moved some ; banishment others ; age and infirmities 
had silenced those, while these had voluntarily- 
withdrawn to enjoy the blessings of retirement ; 
one was at the head of an army ; and the position 
of friend to the emperor ^ had exempted another 
from civil employments. 

What turns of fortune have I experienced in my 
own person ! It was my profession that first raised 
me ; it was my profession that endangered me ; and 
it was ray profession that advanced me again. Once 
the friendships of good men did me much service; 
they proved afterward extremely prejudicial to my 
interest,'' and now they benefit me again. If you 
compute the years in which all this has happened, 
it is but a little while ; if you number the vicissi- 
tudes, it seems an age. This should teach us to 
check both our despair and presumption, when we 
observe such a variety of events roll round in so 
swift and narrow a circle. It is my custom to com- 
municate to you all my thoughts, and to set before 



te vel praeceptis vel exemplis monere, quibus 
ipse me moneo ; quae ratio huius epistulae fuit. 


C. Plinius Messio Maximo Sue S. 

ScRiPSERAM tibi verendum esse, ne ex tacitis 
suffragiis vitium aliquod exsisteret. Factum est. Pro- 
ximis comitiis in quibusdam tabellis multa iocularia 
atque etiam foeda dictu, in una vero pro can- 
didatorum nominibus suffragatorum nomina inventa 
sunt. Excanduit senatus magnoque clamore ei, qui 
scripsisset, iratum principem est comprecatus. Ille 
tamen fefellit et latuit, fortasse etiam inter indig- 
nantes fuit. 

Quid lumc putamus domi facere, qui in tanta re 
tam serio tempore tarn scurriliter ludat^ qui denique 
omnino in senatu dicax et urbanus et bellus est ? 
Tantum licentiae pravis ingeniis adicit ilia fiducia: 
quis enira sciet ? Poposcit tabellas, stilum accepit, 
demisit caput, neminem veretur, se contemnit. Inde 
ista ludibria scaena et pulpito digna. Quo te vertas .'' 
quae remedia conquiras ? ubique vitia remediis 
fortiora. 'AXAa ravra T(3 vTrep rj/j-a^ [xiXrjaci, cui 

- iii. 20. 

BOOK IV. xxiv.-xxv 

you the same rules and examples by which I regu- 
late my own conduct : and such was my design in 
this letter. Farewell. 


To Messius Maximus 

I MENTIONED to you in a former** letter, that I 
apprehended the method of voting by ballot would 
lead to some abuse, and so it has proved. At the 
last election of magistrates, upon some of the tablets 
were written several pieces of pleasantry, and even 
indecencies ; in one particularly, instead of the 
names of the candidates, was inserted the names 
of their supporters. The Senate was extremely 
exasperated, and clamorously threatened the ven- 
geance of the Emperor upon the author. But he 
lay concealed, and possibly might be in the number 
of those who expressed their indignation. 

What must one suppose of such a man's private 
conduct, who upon so important an affair, and at so 
solemn a time, could indulge in ribald drollery ; who, 
finally durst play the prater, witling, and exquisite, 
in the very Senate ? " Nobody will know," is the 
argument that emboldens depraved minds to commit 
these indecencies. This person called for the tablets, 
took up the pen, and bent his head to write, unde- 
terred by fear of others or by self-respect. Hence 
arise these buffooneries, fit only for the boards of a 
theatre. \Vliither is one to turn, what remedies 
may one search out ? Our disorders everywhere 
prove irremediable; but ''all this will be the care of 



raultuni cotidie vigiliarum, multum laboris adicit 
haec nostra iners sed tamen effrenata petulantia. 
Vale. ~- 


C. Plinius Metiuo Nepoti Suo S. 

PetiSj ut libellos meos, quos studiosissime com- 
parasti^ legendos recognoscendosque curem. Faciam. 
Quid enim suscipere libentius debeo, te praesertim 
exigente ? Nam^ cuin vir gravissimus, doctissimus, 
disertissimus, sujier haec occupatissimus, maximae 
proviiiciae praefuturus tanti putes scripta nostra 
circumferre tecum^ quanto opere mihi providendum 
estj ne te haec pars sarcuiarum tamquam supcrvacua 
ofTendat ? Adnitar ergo, primum ut couiites istos 
quam commodissimos habeas, deinde ut reversus 
inveniaSj quos istis addere velis. Neque enim 
mediocriter me ad nova opera tu lector hortaris. 


C. Plinius Pompeio Falconi Suo S. 

T'ertius dies est, quod audivi recitantem Serium ^ 
Augurinum cura sumina mea voluptate, immo etiam 
admiratione. Poematia appellat. Multa tenuiter, 
multa sublimiter, multa venuste, multa tenere, multa 

1 Serium Mommsen, Mailer, Seutiuni vid^j. 

BOOK IV. xxv.-xxvii 

that superior Power," who by our futile, but unbridled 
effrontery, has daily fresh occasion of exerting all 
his pains and vigilance. Farewell. 


To Metii.ius Nepos 

You request me to supervise the revision of my 
works, which you have most diligently collected. I 
shall do so ; for what task ought I to undertake more 
willingly, especially at your instance ? When a man 
of consummate dignity, learning and eloquence (who 
is, moreover, deep in affairs and governor designate of 
an important province), thinks it worth while to 
carry my writings about with him, must 1 not 
earnestly see to it that this part of his baggage may 
not prove a superfluous incumbrance ? My first care 
therefore shall be, that these companions of yours 
may be as agreeable as possible ; and my next, that 
vou may find others on your return, whom you will 
gladly add to your present suite. For to have such a 
reader as you are is no small inducement to attempt 
fresh compositions. Farewell 



I HAVE been attending these tliree days the recital 
of Augurinus's poems, which I heard not only with 
great pleasure, but even admiration. He calls them 
" Poems in Little." They are conceived with much 
delicacy and elegance, and abound with numberless 



dulciter, multa cum bile. Alig^uot annis puto nihil 
generis eiusdem absolutius scriptum, nisi forte me 
fallit aut amor eius, aut quod me ipsum laudibus 
vexit. Nam lemma sibi sumpsit, quod ego interdum 
versibus ludo. Atque adeo iudicii mei te iudicem 
faciam, si mihi ex hoc ipso lemmate secundus 
versus occurrerit ; nam ceteros teneo, et iam ex- 

Canto carmina versibus minutis, 

his olim quibus et meus Catullus 

et Calvus veteresque. Sed quid ad me ? 

unus Plinius est mihi priores ; 

mavult versiculos foro relicto 

et quaeritj quod amet, putatque amnri. 

Ille o Plinius, ille quot Catones ! 

I nunc, qui sapias^^ amare noli. 

Vides, quam acuta omnia, quam apta, quam expressa. 
Ad hunc gustum totum librum i-epromitto, quem 
tibi, ut primum publicaverit, exhibebo. Interim 
ama iuvenem et temporibus nostris gratulare pro 
ingenio tali, quod ille moribus adornat. Vivit cum 

^ qui sapias a, Midler, qiiisquis sapias Fpr, quisquis amas 
MD, K, Bipons. 

° lemma (Gr. XvH-lJ-'^) "theme"; but iu the next sentence 
used of the epigram itself. 


BOOK IV. xxvii 

strokes of tenderness and sublimity, of wit and satire. 
I am of opinion, there has not any thing for these 
many years appeared more finished of the kind ; if 
indeed my great affection for him and the praises he 
bestows iijion me, do not bias my judgement. For he 
has made it the subject of an epigram ** that I some- 
times amuse myself with writing verses. If I can 
recollect the second line of this epigram (for the rest 
I remember and have already got correctly) you 
shall judge if my sentiments are just : 

*' Sweetly flow my tender lays, 

Like Calvus' or Catullus' strains, 
(Bards approv'd of ancient days !) 

Where Love in all its softness reigns. 

" But wherefore ancient poets name? 
Let Pliny my example be : 
Him the sacred Nine inflame ; 
Yet strict as any Cato he ! 

"To mutual love he tunes the lay. 
While from the noisy bar he flies: 
Say then ye grave, ye formal say. 
Who shall gentle Love despise.''" 

You see with what s])rightliness of imagination, 
what propriety of sentiment, what clearness of 
expression the whole is wrought up ; a^d in this 
taste I will venture to assure you, you will find his 
performance in general, which I will send you as soon 
as it shall be published. In the meanwhile, admit 
this excellent youth into a share of your afl^ection, 
and congratulate our age on the production of such a 
genius, whose virtues render him still more illustrious. 
He spends his time partly with Spurinna, and partly 



Spurinna, vivit cum Antonino, quorum alteri adfinis, 
utrique contubernalis est. Possis ex hoc facere 
coniccturam, quam sit emendatus adulescens, qui a 
gravissimis senibus sic amatur. Est enim illud 
verissimum : 

ytVdiiTKiov, on 
Totot'Tos icTTiv, oiiTTvep -^Scrat avvuiv. 


C. Plinius Vibio Severo Suo S. 

Herennius Severus, vir doctissimus, magni aesti- 
mat in bibliotheca sua ponere imagines municipum 
tuorum^ Coinelii Nepotis et Titi Cati, petitque, si 
sunt istic, ut esse credibile est, exscribendas pingen- 
dasque delegem. Quam curam tibi potissimum 
iniungo, primum quia desideriis meis amicissime 
obsequeris, deinde quia tibi studiorum summa 
reverentia, summus amor studiosorum, postremo quod 
patriam tuam omnesque, qui nomen eius auxerunt, 
ut patriam ipsam veneraris et diligis. Peto autem, 
ut pictorem quam diligentissimum adsumas. Nam 
cum est arduum similitudinem effingere ex vero/tum 
longe difficiilima est imitationis imitatio ; a qua 
rogo ut artificem, quem elegeris, ne in melius quidem 
sinas aberrare. Vale. 

1 Eurip. fragm. (Nauck F.T.O. p. 490). 

BOOK IV. xxvii.-xxviii 

with Antoninus ; be has the honour to be related to 
one, and to be the companion of both. You will 
easily imagine what uncommon virtues he must 
possess, who is thus the favourite of two such 
venerable old men : for the poet's observation is 
most undoubtedly true : 

" Those who in close society are join'd 
In manners equal, you will ever find." 



To ViBius Severus 

Herennius Severus, a person of distinguished 
learning, is greatly desirous to have the pictures of 
two of your fellow townsmen, Cornelius Nepos, and 
Titus Catus, to adorn his library ; and has entreated 
me, if they are to be met with where you are (as 
probably they may) that I would procui'e copies of 
them for him. That care I recommend to you, 
rather than to any other, not only because I know 
your friendship for me readily inclines you to comply 
with my requests ; but as being sensible of the high 
regard you have for learning and all her friends ; and 
that your affection and veneration for those who 
Jiave been an ornament to your country, is equal to 
that which you bear towards your country herself 
I beg, moreover, you would employ some skilful 
hand in this work ; for if it is difficult to draw an 
exact likeness from the life, it is much more so to 
preserve it in copying what is itself a copy ; so I 
desire you would not suffer the painter you select 
to deviate from the latter, not even for the better. 




C. Plinius Romatio Firmo Suo S. 

Heia tu ! cum proxime res agentur, quoquo modo 
ad iudicandum veni. Nihil est, quod in dextrarn 
aurem fiducia mei dornlias. Non impune cessatur. 
Ecce Licinius Nepos praetor, acer et fortis vir, 
multam dixit etiam senator!. Egit ille in senatu 
causani suam, egit auteni sic, ut deprecaretur. 
Remissa est iiiulta ; sed tiniuit, sed rogavit, sed opus 
venia fuit. Dices : * Non omnes praetores tarn 
severi.' Falleris. Nam vel instituere vel reducere 
eiusmodi exemplum non nisi severi, institutum 
reductumve exercere etiam lenissimi possunt. Vale. 


C. Plinius Licinio Surae Suo S. 

Attuli tibi ex patria mea pro munusculo quae- 
stionem altissima ista eruditione dignissimam. Fons 
oritur in monte, per saxa decurrit, excipitur cenati- 
uncula manu facta ; ibi paulum retentus in Larium 
lacum decidit. Huius mira natura ; ter in die statis 

'*■ in dcxtram aurem dormire, " to sleep soundly,'' pro- 
/ vefbial for lazy unconcern. 

' 352 

BOOK IV. xxi.v.-xxx 


Hark ye, my friend, you must at all rates take 

your place upon the bench the next time the cou.r± 

„ sits. -^ In vain would your indolence repose itself-5--* 

under my protection; for if you shirk, you will rue 

it. Behold that severe Praetor, the bold Licinius 

J epos, fining even a senator for the same neglect 
he senator pleaded his cause in person; but pleaded 
in suppliant tone. The fine, it is ti'ue, was remitted ; 
but sore was his dismay, but humble his entreaty, 
but urgent his need of indulgence. All magistrates 
in that office, you will tell me, are not thus formidably 
rigid. You may be mistaken ; for though only men 
of such a character would set or revive a precedent 
of this kind ; yet when once it is introduced or 
restored, even lenity herself may follow it. Fare- 


To Licinius Sura 

I HAVE brought you as a fairing from my home- 
country, a problem worthy of your profound erudi- 
tion. There is a spi'ing which rises in the mountain, 
and running among the rocks is received into a little 
banqueting-room, from whence, after being detained 
a short time, it falls into the Larian lake. The 
nature of this spring is extremely surprising ; it ebbs 


VOL. t. A A 


auctibus ac diminutionibus crescit decvescitque. Cer- 
nitur id palam et cum summa voluptate deprehenditur. 
luxta recumbis et vesceris atque etiam ex ipso fonte 
(nam est frigidissimus) potas, interim ille certis 
dimensisque momentis vel subtrahitur vel adsurgit. 
Annulum sen quid aliud ponis in sicco, adluitur 
sensim ac novissime operitur, detegitur rursus paula- 
timque deseritur. Si diutius observes, utrumque 
iterum ac tertio videas. 

Spiritusne aliquis occultior os fontis et fauces modo 
laxat, modo includit, prout illatus occurrit aut decessit 
expulsus? quod in ampullis ceterisque generis eius- 
dem videmus accidercj quibus non hians nee statim 
patens exitus. Nam ilia quoque^ quamquam prona 
atque vergentia, per quasdam obhictantis animae 
moi'as crebris quasi singultibus sistunt, quod efFun- 
dunt. An, quae Oceano natura, fonti quoque, qua- 
que ille ratione aut impellitur aut resorbetur, hac 
modicus hie humor vicibus alternis supprimitur vel 
erigitur ? An, ut flumina, quae in mare deferuntur, 
adversantibuFventis obvioque aestu retorquentur, ita 
est aliquid, quod huius fontis excursum repercutiat ? 
An latentibus venis certa mensura, quae dum colligit, 
quod exhauserat, minor rivus et pigrior, cum collegit, 
agilior maiorque profertur ? An nescid quod libra- 



and flows by regular amounts three times a day. 
This increase and decrease can be plainly observed^ 
and under very delightful conditions. You recline 
by the side of the fountain, and whilst you are 
taking a repast and drinking its water too, for it is 
extremely cool, you see it rise and fall by fixed and 
measured gradations. If you place a ring, or any- 
thing else, on the dry margin, the stream reaches it 
by degrees till it is entirely covered, and then again 
gently retires from it ; and this you may see it do, 
if you prolong your watch, for three times succes- 

Shall we say, that some secret current of air stops 
and opens the outlet of the spring, as it is borne 
into, or expelled from it ; as we see in bottles, and 
other such vessels, where there is not a free and 
open outlet, though you turn and tilt them down- 
wards, yet the outward air obstructing the vent, 
they discharge their contents as it were by a suc- 
cession of gurgling sobs .'' Or may not this spring 
have the same property as the ocean, so that the 
same principle which governs the flux and reflux of 
the latter, may account for the alternate suppression 
and effusion of this small body of water.'' (Or, as 
rivei's, which discharge themselves into the sea, 
meeting with contrary winds and the landward swell 
of the ocean, are forced back in their channels ; so 
may there not be something that checks this fountain, 
for a time in its progress ? Or is there rather a 
certain reservoir that contains these waters in the 
bowels of the earth, which while it is recruiting its 
discharges, the stream flows more slowly and in less 
quantity, but when it has collected its due measure, 
it runs again in its usual strength and fullness? Or 

A A 2 


mentum abditum et caecum, quod cum exinanitum 
est, suscitat et elicit fontem, cum repletum, moratur 
et strangulat ? 

Scrutare tu causas (potes enim) quae tantum mira- 
culum efficiunt ; milii abunde est, si satis express], 
quod efficitur. Vale. 



lastly, is there I know not what kind of subter- 
raneous poise, that when dry allows the spring to 
"rise, but when full obstructs and chokes it? 

You, who are so well qualified for the inquiry, will 
examine the reasons of this wonderful appearance ; 
it will be sufficient for me if I have given you a 
clear description of it. Farewell. 





C. Plinius Annio Skvero Suo S. 

Lkgatum mihi obvenit modicum, sed amplissimo 
gratius. Cur amplissimo gratius ? Pomponia Galla 
exheredato filio Asudio Curiano heredem reliquerat 
me, dederat coheredes Serlorium Severum, prae- 
torium virum, aliosque equites Romanos splendidos. 
Curianus filius oj'abat, ut sibi donarem portionem 
meam seque praeiudicio iuvarem, eandem tacita con- 
ventione salvam milii pollicebatur. Respondebam 
lion convenire moribus meis aliud palam, aliud agere 
secreto, praeterea non esse satis honestum donare et 
loeupleti et orbo, in summa non profuturum ei, si 
donassem, profuturum, si cessissem, esse autem 
me paratum cedere, si inique exheredatum mihi 

Ad hoc ille : ' Rogo, cognoscas.* Cunctatus 
paulum ' Faciam ' inquam : ' neque enim video, cur 

" i.e. it would have the appearance of bribing him to 
make a will in Pliny's favour. 




To Annius Severus 

A SMALL legacy which was lately left me, has 
given me gi*eater pleasure than I could have received 
by a very large one. How so, you ask ? Pomponia 
Galla, having disinherited her son Asudius Curianus, 
made me her heir, and appointed Sertorius Severus, 
a man of Praetorian rank, together with several 
eminent Roman knights, as coheirs. The son 
begged me to make him a gift of my share, in 
order to afford him a precedent for recovery from 
the rest of the heirs ; offering at the same time to 
enter into a secret agreement to return it. I told 
him, it was by no means agreeable to my character 
to carry the appearance of acting one thing, whilst 
I was, in truth, acting another ; and that there 
was something dishonourable in making a gift to a 
man both rich and childless * ; and, in fine, that 
such a gift would not at all answer the purpose at 
which he was aiming. But (I added) if I were to 
renounce my legacy, that would advantage his claim : 
and this I was ready and willing to do, if he could 
prove to me that he was unjustly disinherited. 

" Let me beg you," said he, " to investigate my 
case yourself." After a short pause, " I will do so," 



ipse me minorem putem, quam tibi videor. Sed iam 
nunc memento non defuturara mihi constantiam, si 
ita fides duxerit, secundum matrem tuam pro- 
uuntiandi.' ' Ut voles' ait: 'voles enim, quod 

Adhibui in consilium duos, quos tunc civilas 
nostra spectatissimos habuit, Corellium et Frontinum. 
His circumdatus in cubiculo mieo sedi. Dixit Curia- 
nus, quae pro se putabat. Respondi paucis ego ; 
neque enim aderat alius, qui defunctae pudorem 
tueretur ; deinde secessi et ex consilii sententia, 
' Videtur ' inquam, ' Curiane, mater tua iustas 
habuisse causas irascendi tibi.' 

Post hoc ille cum ceteris subscripsit centumvirale 
iudicium, mecum non subscripsit. Adpetebat iudicii 
dies. Coheredes mei componere et transigere cupie- 
bant non diffidentia causae, sed metu temporum. 
Verebantur, quod videbant multis accidisse, ne ex 
centumvirali iudicio capitis rei exirent. Et erant 
quidam in illis, quibus obici et Gratillae amicitia et 
Rustici posset. Rogant me, ut cum Curiano loquar. 
Convenimus in aedem Concordiae. Ibi ego ' Si 
mater ' inquam * te ex parte quarta scripsisset 
heredem, num queri posses ? Quid si heredem qui- 
dem instituisset ex asse, sed legatis ita exhausisset, 
ut non ainplius apud te quam quarta remaneret } 

" Gratilla was the wife of Rusticus : Rusticus was put to 
death by Doinitian, and Gratilla banished. 


BOOK V. i 

I said, "for I do not see why I should rate myself 
lower than you seem to do. But take notice before- 
hand, I shall not want resolution to uphold your 
mother's testamentary dispositions, if I honestly 
think they are just." " Have your own way," said 
he ; " for that is sure to be the fairest." 

1 called in as advisers Corellius and Frontinus, two 
of the most eminent citizens which Rome at that 
time possessed. Attended with those friends, I 
heard the cause in my chamber. Curianus stated 
his pretensions, to whom (as there was nobody but 
myself present to defend the character of the 
defunct lady) I made a short reply ; then, after 
private consultation with my advisers, " Curianus," 
said I, " we are of opinion that your mother had just 
cause to be offended with you." 

Sometime afterward, Curianus commenced a suit 
in the Centumviral court against all the coheirs 
except myself The day of trial approaching, the 
rest of the coheirs were desirous of compromising 
the affair ; not out of any diffidence of their cause, 
but from a distrust of the times. They were appre- 
hensive, what had been the case of many others 
might happen to them, and that from a civil suit it 
should end in a capital one. And there were some 
amongst them whose friendship with both Gratilla " 
and Rusticus might be brought up to their prejudice 
at the trial. They therefore desired me to go and 
talk with Curianus. We met in the Temple of 
Concord ; "Suppose," said I, "your mother had left 
you the fourth part of her estate, or even suppose 
she had made you sole heir, but had exhausted so 
much of the estate in minor bequests that there 
Avould not be more than a fourth part remaining to 



Igitur sufficere tibi debet, si exheredatus a matre 
quartam partem ab heredibus eius accipias, quam 
tamen ego augebo. Scis te non subscripsisse mecum, 
et iam biennium transisse, omniaque me usu cepisse. 
Sed ut te coheredes mei tractabiliorem experiantur, 
utque tibi nihil abstulerit reverentia mei, offero pro 
mea parte tantundem.' 

Tuli fructum non conscientiae modo, verum etiam 
famae. Ille ergo Curianus legatum mihi reliquit et 
factum meum, nisi forte blandior mihi, antiquum 
notabili honore signavit. 

Haec tibi scripsi, quia de omnibus, quae me vel 
delectant vel angunt, non aliter tecum quam mecum 
loqui soleo, deinde quod durum existimabam te 
amantissimum mei fraudare voluptate, quam ipse 
capiebam. Neque enim sum tam sapiens, ut nihil 
mea intersit, an iis, quae honeste fecisse me credo, 
testificatio quaedam et quasi praemium accedat. 


C. Plinius Calpurnio Flacco Suo S. 
AccEPi pulchen-imos tui'dos, cum quibus parem 
calculum ponere nee urbis copiis ex Laurentino nee 
maris tam turbidis tempestatibus possuny Recipies 

" These birds were in high reputation anion^ the Romans, 
and generally had a place upon elegant tables. 

BOOK V. i.-ii 

vou ; could you justly have complained ? You ought 
to be contented therefore, it being absolutely 
disinherited, as you are, the heirs are willing to 
relinquish to you a fourth part ; which ainount 
however I will increase. You know you did not sue 
me, and the prescription established by two years' 
undisputed possession secures me in my legacy. 
But to induce you to make terms with the coheirs, 
and that you may be no loser by the respect you 
shewed to me, I offer to contribute my proportion 
with thcni." 

The satisfaction of my own conscience is not my 
only reward from this transaction ; it has enhanced 
my reputation. Now, it is this very Curianus who 
has left me a legacy ; thereby paying a signal tribute 
to my conduct, which was (if I do not flatter myself), 
true to the old Roman ideal. 

I have given you this account, because I commune 
with you upon all my joys and sorrows as freely as 
with myself; and because I thought it would be un- 
kind to defraud so tender a friend of the pleasure I 
was myseJf experiencing. Pleasure, I own, was my 
feeling-:, for I do not pi'etend to such refined strains 
of philosophy as to be indifferent, when I think I 
have behaved like a man of honour, whether my 
action is, as it were, rewarded by a sort of testimonial. 

To Calpurnius Flaccus 

I HAVE received your very fine thrushes ** ;''\but 

I cannot match your gift witn any dainty from town, 

as I am at my Laurentinum, nor from the sea, in the 

stormy weather now prevailing.^ I can only therefore 




ergo ej^istulas steriles et simpliciter ingratas ac ne 
illam qiiidem sollertiam Diomedis in permutando 
munere imitantes. Sed, quae facilitas tua, hoc magis 
dabis veniam, quod se non mereri fatentur. Vale. 



Cum plurima officia tua mihi grata et iucunda sunt, 
tdtn vel maxima, quod me celandum non putasti 
fuisse apud te de versiculis meis multum copiosum- 
que sermonem, eumque diversitate iudiciorum lon- 
gius processisse, exstitisse etiam quosdam, qui scripta 
quidem ipsa non improbarent, me tamen amice sim- 
pliciterque reprehenderent, quod haec scriberem 
recitaremque. Quibus ego, ut augeam meam culpam, 
ita respondeo : facio non numquam versiculos severos 
parum, facio et^ comoedias audio et specto mimos et 
lyricos lego et Sotadicos intellego ; aliquando prae- 
terea rideo, iocof, Tu'do, utqiie omnia innoxiae remis- 
sionis genera breviter amplectar, ' Homo sum.' 

1 facio et Dpr, K, Midi., fac. nam et M F Rice, [corr.) a, 
fac. etiam Rice, ante corr. 

r^i Alluding to the story in Homer, where Glaucus and 
Dionied having an interview between the two armies, they 
come to the knowledge of the friendship and hospitality 
which had formerly subsisted between their families, and 
Diomed proposes an exchange of their arms, as a token of 
reciprocal friendship : 

"Brave Glaucus then each narrow thought resign'd 
(Jove warm'd his bosom and enlarg'd his mind) ; 
For Diomed's brass arms of mean device, 
For which nine oxen paid (a vulgar price) 


BOOK V. ii.-iii 

make you the churlish and baiTen acknowledgement 
of a letter ; an exchange more unequal, I confess, than 
that famous one of the subtle Diomed.<* But your 
good-nature will so much the more readily grant me 
an excuse, as I own myself not to desei've one. 

To TiTius Aristo 

( Amongst the many agreeable and obliging in- 
stances I have received of your friendship, your not 
thinking proper to conceal from me the long con- 
versation which lately passed at your house concer- 
ning my verses, and the various judgements 
pronounced upon them, is by no means the least, j 
There were some, you tell me, who did not'' 
disapprove the character of my poems, but at the 
same time censured me in a candid and friendly 
manner, for composing and reciting such works. 
My reply to these critics is of a nature to aggravate 
~Tny offence ; I confess that I sometimes write verses 
of no very strait-laced kiud ; J furthermore listen 
to comedies, witness bi*oad farces, read love-poetry,^ 
and enter into the spirit of the most wanton Muse. 
Besides all this, I not seldom indulge in mirth, wit 
and gaiety ; and to sum up every kind of innocent 
amusement in one word, / am a man." 

He gave his own of gold divinely wrought ; 

An hundred beeves the shining purchase bouirht. 

Pope, II. vi. 325 (Melmoth). 
^ ''jLyric had become synonymous with erotic verse. Sotadir 
verse was a form invented by the obscene Greek poet 

« Homo sum ; humani nihil a me alienum puto. Terence, 
Hea\a. 77. 



Nee vero molcste fero banc esse de moribus meis 
existimationem, ut, qui nesciunt talia doctissimos, 
gravissimos, sanctissimos homines scriptitasse, me 
scribere mirentur. Ab illis autem, quibus notum est, 
qiios quantosque auctores sequar, facile impetrari 
posse confido, ut errare me, sed cum illis sinant, quo- 
rum non seria modo, verum etiam lusus exprimere 
laudabile est. An ego verear (neminem viventium, 
ne quam in speciem adulationis incidani, nominabo) — 
sed ego verear, ne me non satis deceat, quod decuit 
M. TuUium, C. Calvum, Asiniuni PoUionem, M. 
Messalani, Q. Hortensium, M. Brutum, L. SuUam, 
Q. Catulum, Q. Scaevolam, Servium Sulpicium, 
Varronem, Torquatum, immo Torquatos, C. Mem- 
mium, Lentulum Gaetulicum, Annaeum Senecam et 
proxime Verginium Rufum et, si non sufficiunt exem- 
pla privata, divum lulium, divum Augustum, divuni 
Nervam, Tiberiuni Caesareiu ? Neronem enim trans- 
eo, quamvis sciam non corrumpi in deterius, quae 
aliquando etiam a malis, sed honesta manere, quae 
saepius a bonis fiunt. Inter quos vel praecipue nu- 
merandus est P. Vergilius, Cornelius Nepos et prius 
Ennius Acciusque. Non quidem hi senatores, sed 
sanctitas morum non distat ordinibus. 

Recito tamen, quod illi an feeerint, nescio. Etiam ; 
sed illi iudicio suo poterant esse contenti, mihi 
modestior conscientia ^ est, quam ut satis absolutum 
putem, quod a me probetur. Itaque has recitandi 
causas sequor, primum quod ipse, qui recitat, ali- 

1 conscientia, Casaubon, Blp.,K, constantia MSS., Miill. 


BOOK V. iii 

But I am not at all displeased to find my character 
held so high that those who are ignorant that the 
most learned, the gravest and the most moral of men 
have enjoyed themselves in compositions of this 
order, should be surprised at my doing so ; but those 
who know what noble examples I follow, will readily 
allow me, I trust, to err — while I err in their company 
whom it is an honour to imitate, not only in their 
most serious actions, but lightest amusements. Am 
I to fear (I will not name any living example, lest I 
should seem to flatter) — I say, am I to fear a practice 
may ill become me, which was not beneath the 
dignity of Tully, Calvus, Pollio, Messala, Hortensius, 
Brutus, Sulla, Catulus, Scaevola, Sulpicius, Varro, 
the Torquati, Memmius, Gaetulicus, Seneca, and, in 
our ow^n day, Virginius Rufus ? And, if the example 
of subjects is not enough, I can add that of Julius 
Caesar, Augustus, Nerva and Tiberius. I forbear to add 
Nero to the catalogue ; though I am sensible, what is 
the occasional employment of the vicious does not 
therefore degenerate into wrong ; on the contrary, 
it still maintains its credit, if frequently practised 
by the virtuous. In that number Virgil, Cornelius 
Nepos, and prior to these, Ennius and Accius, justly 
deserve the most distinguished place. These last 
indeed were not senators, but virtue knows no 
distinction of rank or title. 

I recite my works, however, which I rather think 
my exemplars did not. Granted ; but those great 
men might well be satisfied with their own judge- 
ment ; / am not conscious of such talents that I can 
suppose my compositions sufficiently perfect, when 
they meet my own approval. My i-easons then for 
reciting are these ; firstly the reciter himself becomes 

-— - 369 

VOL. I. B B 


quanto acrius scrij)tis suis auditorum reverentia 
intendit, deiud^ quod, de quibus dubitat, quasi ex 
consilii sententia statuit. Multa etiam a multis 
admouetur et, si non admoneatur, quid quisque 
sentiat, perspicit ex vultu, oculis, nutu, manu, 
murmure, silentio ; quae satis apertis notis iudicium 
ab humanitate discernunt. Atque adeo, si cui forte 
eorum, qui interfuerunt, curae fuerit eadem ilia 
legere, intelleget me quaedani aut commutasse aut 
praeterisse, fortasse etiam ex sue iudicio, quamvis 
ipse nihil dixerit mihi. Atque haec ita dispute, quasi 
populum in auditorium, non in cubiculum amicos 
advocarim, quos plures habere multis glox'iosum, 
reprehensioni neniini fnit. Vale. 


C. Plinius Iulio Valeriano Sue S. 

Res parva, sed initium non parvae. Vir })raetorius 
Sellers a senatu petiit, ut sibi instituere in agris suis 
nundinas permitteretur ; contra dixerunt Vicetinorum 
legati ; adfuit Tuscilius Nominatus ; dilata causa est. 
Alio senatu Vicetini sine advocate intraverunt, dixe- 

BOOK V. iii.-iv 

a keener critic of his work, under the diffidence 
inspired by an audience ; secondly, he can settle any 
points on which he feels doubtful by the advice of 
assessors, so to speak. He has, moreover, the 
advantage of receiving many hints from different 
persons ; and, failing this, he can discover his hearers' 
sentiments from the air of a countenance, the turn 
of a head or eye, the motion of a hand, a murmur 
of applause, or even silence itself; signs which will 
})lainly enough distinguish their real judgement fi'om 
the language of civility. And, indeed, if anyone of 
my audience should have the curiosity to peruse the 
same performance which he heai-d me read, he may 
find several things altered or omitted, and peihaps 
too upon his judgement, though he did not say a 
single word to me. But I am arguing as if I had 
invited the genei'al public to an audience-hall, instead 
of friends to my own house. True, they made a 
large audience ; but to have numerous friends has 
been a boast to many, a reproach to none. Farewell. 


To luLius Valerianus 

A TRIVIAL affair, but fraught with no trivial con- 
sequences, has taken place. Sollers, an ex- Praetor, 
petitioned the Senate's leave to hold a fair upon 
his estate. This was opposed by deputies from 
the Vicentini, who employed Tuscilius Nominatus 
as their counsel. The cause was adjourned ; and 
at the next session the deputies appeared un- 
attended by their counsel, and declared that they 
had been cheated : an expression, which, whether it 


9 B 3 


runt se de ct-ptos lapsine verbo, an quia ita sentiebant ? 
InteiTOgati a Nepote praetore, quern docuissent, 
lesponderunt, queni prius. Interrogati, an tunc 
gratis adfuisset, responderunt, sex milibus nummum ; 
an rursus aliquid dedissent, dixerunt mille denarios. 
Nepos postulavit, ut Nominatus induceretur. Hac- 
tenus illo die. Sed, quantum auguror, longius res 
j)rocedet. Nam pleraque tacta tantum et omnino 
commotalatissimeserpunt. Erexi aures tuas. Quam 
diu nunc oportet, quam blande roges, ut reliqua 
cognoscas ! si tamen non ante ob haec ipsa veneris 
Romam spectatorque malueris esse quam lector. 


C. Plinius Nonio Maximo Suo S. 

NuNTiATUM mihi est^ C. Fannium decessisse ; qui 
nuntius gravi me dolore confudit, primum quod 
amavi hominem elegantem, disertum, deinde quod 
iudieio eius uti solebam. Erat enim natura acutus, 
usu exercitatus, varietate promptissimus. Angit me 
super ista casus Ipsius. Decessit veteri testamento, 
omisit, quos maxime diligebat, prosecutus est, quibus 
offensiov erat. 

Sed hoc utcunque tolerabile, gravius illud, quod 

' nuntiatum ni. est M, Bipona, K, nuntiatur niihi, Rice. 
Fpra, Midler. 

BOOK V. iv.-v 

dropped from them in the warmtli of resentment, or 
that they really thought so, I will not determine. 
Nepos the Praetor asked them who it was they had 
briefed. They replied, the same counsel as before. 
Asked whether he then appeared for them without 
a fee, they said they had paid him six thousand 
sesterces. Had they paid him a second fee .'' Yes, 
one thousand denarii. Upon which, Nepos moved 
that Nominatus should be ordered to attend. The 
affair went no further that day ; but, if I argue truly, 
it will not end here ; for one may observe in several 
instances, the slightest sparks have lighted up a 
train of very remote consequences. ; And now I have 
raised your curiosity, I shall require much coaxing 
to make me tell you the sequel ;^' always supposing 
you do not forestall me by coming expressly to 
Rome, and choosing to witness, rather than read it. 

To NoMus Ma.vimus 

I AM deeply afflicted by tidings of the death of 
Fannius,^ since I not only loved that polished and 
eloquent man, but constantly relied upon his judge- 
ment ; for his penetrating genius was improved by 
experience, and varied in resource. It aggravates 
my concern that he had the misfortune to die 
leaving an old will unrevoked ; the result is, he has 
passed over those dearest to him, and favoured persons 
who bore him some animosity. 

But this can be borne, after a fashion ; a more 

; ^e-See V. 1.3. ^ 

\ * Otherwise unknown. / 



pulcherrimum opus imperfectuni reliquit. Quamvis 
enim agendis causis distringeretur, scribebat tamen 
exitus occisorum aut relcgatorum a Nerone et 
iain tres libros absolverat subtiles et diligentes et 
Latinos atque inter sermonem historiamque medios 
ae tanto magis reliquos perficere cupiebat, quanto 
frequentius hi lectitabantur. 

Mihi autem videtur acei'ba semper et immatuva 
mors eorum, qui iminortale aliquid parant. Nam, 
qui voluptatibus dediti quasi in diem vivunt, vivendi 
causas cotidie finiunt ; qui vero posteros cogitant 
ct niemoriam sui operibus extendunt, his nulla mors 
non'repentina est, ut quae semper inchoatum aliquid 
abrumpat. Gaius quidem Fannius, quod accidit, 
multo ante praesensit. Visus est sibi per nocturnam 
quietem iacere in lectulo suo compositus in habitu 
studentis, liabere ante se scrinium (ita solebat) ; mox 
imaginatus est venisse Neronem, in toro resedisse, 
prompsisse primum librum, quern de sceleribus eius 
ediderat, eumque ad extremum revolvisse, idem in 
secundo ac tei'tio fecisse, tunc abiisse. Expavit et 
sic interpretatus est, tamquam idem sibi futurus 
esset scribendi finis, qui fuisset illi legendi, et fuit 

Quod me recordantem miseratio subit, quantum 
vigiliarum, quantum laboris exhauserit frustra. Occur- 
sant animo mea mortalitas, mea scripta. Nee dubito 
te quoque eadem cogitatione terreri pro istis, quae 



grievous circumstance is that he has left a master- 
piece of literature unfinished. Notwithstanding his 
liarassing engagements at the bar, he was Avriting a 
history of the last scenes in the life of those who 
suffered death or banishment under Nero, and had 
already completed three books. These are written 
with gi-eat delicacy and exactness in the purest Latin, 
and in a style intennediate between the colloquial 
and the historical ; and as they found many readers, 
he was the more anxious to finish the rest. 

For my part, I regard every death as cruel and 
premature, that removes one who is preparing some 
immortal work. The sons of sensuality, who have no 
\'iews beyond the present hour, terminate with each 
day the whole purpose of their lives ; but those who 
look forward to posterity, and prolong their memories 
bv their works : to such, death is always sudden, as 
it always breaks off some unfinished design. Fannius 
long beforehand had a strong presentiment of what 
has happened. He thought that he was reclining 
at midnight on his couch, all in the quiet midnight 
hour, equipped for study, his bookcase before him as 
usual ; presently, so he fancied, Nero came in and 
seating himself on the couch, took up the first book 
of Fannius' history of his crimes, and read it through ; 
he did the same with the second and third books, 
and then went away. Fannius was terror-struck ; he 
took the vision as signifying that he would write no 
more of his history than Nero had read ; and so it 
came to pass. 

Recalling this accident, I am moved to pity for his 
fruitless expense of so much toil, so many vigils. It 
occurs to me that I too am mortal, I too have written ; 
and I doubt not the same reflection alarms you for 



inter manus habes. Proinde, dum suppetit vita, 
enitamur, ut mors quam paucissima, quae abolere 
possit, inveniat. Vale. 


C. Plinius Domitio Apoi.mnari Suo S. 

Amavi curam et ^aolHcitudinem tuanij quod, cum 
audisses me aesta^fe Tuscos i|^eospetiturum,nefacerem, 
suasisti, dum putst&-4nSaTubres. Est sane gravis et 
pestilens oraTuscorum, quae per litus extenditur ; sed 
hi procul a mari recesserunt, quin etiam Appennino^ 
saluberrimo montium, subiacent. Atque adeo ut 
omnem pro me metum ponas, accipe teniperiem caeli, 
regionis situm, villae amoenitatem ; quae et tibi 
auditu et mihi relatu iucunda erunt. 

Caelum est hieme frigidum et gelidum ; myrtos, 
oleas, quaeque alia adsiduo ^ tepore laetantur^ as- 
pernatur ac respuit ; laurum tamen patitur atque 
etiam nitidissimam profert, interdum, sed non saepius 
quam sub urbe nostra necat. Aestatis mira de- 
mentia ; semper aer spiritu aliquo niovetur, fre- 
quentius tamen auras quam ventos habet. Hinc 

1 adsiduo M D, Bipona, K, aestivo Rice. Fpra Catan., 

BOOK V. v.-vi 

the works you have in hand. Let us strive then, 
while Life is ours, to secure that Death may find we 
have left little or nothing he can destroy. Farewell. 


To DoMiTius Apolijnaris 

The kind concern you expressed when you heard 
of my design to pass the summer at my villa in 
Tuscany, and your obliging endeavours to dissuade 
me from going to a place which you think unhealthy, 
is extremely agreeable to me. 1 confess, indeed, the 
air of that part of Tuscany, which lies towards the 
coast, is thick and unwholesome : but my house is 
situated at a great distance from the sea, and at the 
foot of the Apennine range, so much esteemed for 
salubrity. But that you may lay aside all apprehen- 
sions on my account, I will give you a descrijition of 
the mildness of the climate, the situation of the 
country, and the beauty of my villa, which I am 
persuaded you will hear with as much pleasure as 
I shall relate. 

The winters are severe and cold, so that myrtles, 
olives, and other trees which delight in constant 
warmth, will not flourish here ; but bay trees can 
grow, and even in great perfection ; yet sometimes, 
though indeed not oftencr than in the neighbourhood 
of Rome, they are killed by the sharpness of the 
seasons. The summers are exceedingly temperate ; 
currents of air are continually stirring, though 
breezes are more frequent than high winds. Hence 



senes multi ; videas avos proavosque iam iuvenurrij 
audias falnilas veteres sermonesque maiorum, cum- 
que veneris illo, putes alio te saeculo natum. 

Rcgionis forma pulcherrima. Imaginare amphi- 
Iheatrum aliquod immensum, et quale sola rerum 
natura possit effingere. Lata et diffusa planities 
montibus cingitur, montes suinma sui parte procera 
nemora et aritiqua habent. Frequens ibi et varia 
venatio. Inde caeduae silvae cum ipso monte 
descendunt. Has inter , pingues terrenique colles 
(neque onim facile usquam saxum, etiam si quaeratur, 
occurrit) planissimis campis fertilitate non cedunt 
opimamque messem serius tantum, sed non minus 
percoquunt. Sub his per latus omne vineae porri- 
guntur unamque fociem longe lateque contexunt ; 
quaruni a fine imoque quasi margine arbusta na- 
scuntur. Prata inde campique, campi, quos non 
nisi ingentes boves et fortissima aratra ptrfringunt ; 
tantis glebis tenacissiraum solum^ cum prinium pro- 
secatur, adsurgit, ut nono demum sulco perdome- 
tur. -, Prata florida et gemmea^^ trifQliuin aliasque 
herbas teneras semper et molles et quasi novas 
alunt. Cuncta enim perennibus rivis nutriuntur. 
Sed ubi aquae plurimum, palus nulla, quia devexa 
terra, quidquid liquoris accepit nee absorbuit, ef- 


BOOK V. vi 

old men abound ; if you were to come here and see 
the numbers who have adult grandchildren and 
great-grandchildren, and hear the stories they can 
entertain you with of their ancestors, you would 
fancy yourself born in some former age. 

The aspect of the country is the most beautiful 
possible ; figure to 3'^ourself an immense amphitheatre, 
such as the hand of nature could alone form. Before 
you lies a vast extended plain bounded by a range of 
mountains, whose summits are croAvned with lofty 
and venerable woods, which supply abundance and 
variety of game ; from hence as the mountains 
decline, they are adorned with undei'-woods. Inter- 
mixed with these are little hills of so loam}' and fat a 
soil, that it would be difficult to find a single stone 
upon them ; their fertility is nothing inferior to the 
lowest grounds ; and though their harvest indeed 
is something later, their heavy ci'ops are as well 
matured. At the foot of these hills the eye is 
presented, wherever it turns, with one unbroken 
view of numberless vineyards, which are terminated 
below by a border, as it were, of shrubs. From 
thence extend meadows and fields. The soil 
of the latter is so extremely stiff, upon the first 
ploughing it rises in such vast clods, that it is 
necessary to go over it nine several times with the 
largest oxen and the strongest ploughs, before they 
can be thoroughly broken. The flower-enamelled 
meadows produce trefoil and other kinds of herbage 
as fine and tender as If' It were but just sprung up, 
being everywhere refreshed by never-failing rills. 
But though the country abounds with great plenty of 
water, there are no marshes; for as the ground is 
sloping, whatever water it receives without absorbing, 



lundit in Tiberim. Medios ille agros secat navium 
patiens omnesque fruges devehit in iirbem liieme 
dumtaxat et vere, aestate suinmittitur irnmensique 
fluminis nomen arenti alveo deserit, autumno re- 
s limit. 

Magnam capies voluptateni, si huiic regionis siturn 
ex monte prospexeris. Neque eiiim terras tibi^ sed 
formam aliquam ad exirniam pulchritudineni pictam 
videberis cernere ; ea varictate, ea descriptione, 
quocunque inciderint oculi, reficientur. Villain colle 
imo slta prosi)icit quasi ex suniino ; ita leniter et 
sensim clivo fallente consurgit, ut, cum ascendere 
non putes, sentias ascendisse. A tergo Appenninum, 
sed longius liabet ; accipit ab hoc auras quamlibet 
sereno et {)lacido die^ non tameii acres et immodicas, 
sed spatio ipso lassas et infractas. 

Magna sui parte meridiem spectat aestivumque 

solem ab hora sexta, hibernum aliquanto maturius 

quasi invitat in porticum latam et pro modo longam.' 

Multa in hac membra, atrium etiam ex more veterum. 

Ante porticum xystus concisus in plurimas species 

distinctusque buxoX^demissus inde pronusque pul- 

vinuSj cui bestiarum effigies invicem adversas buxus 

^ pro modo longam FDpra, MiiUery pi-omiuulani M, 
Bipoiis, K, 


BOOK V. vi 

runs off into the Tiber. 'Jhis river, which winds 
through the middle of the meadows, is navigable 
only in the winter and spring, when it transports the 
produce of the lands to Rome ; but its contracted 
channel is so extremely low in summer, that it 
resigns the name of a g7-eat river which, however, 
it resumes in autumn. 

You would be most agreeably entertained by 
taking a view of the face of this country from the 
mountains : you would imagine that not a real, but 
some painted landscape lay before you, drawn with 
the most exquisite beauty and exactness ; such an 
harmonious and regular variety charms the eye 
which way soever it throws itself. My villa, though 
situated at the foot of the mountain, commands as 
wide a prospect as the summit affords ; you go up to 
it by so gentle and insensible a i-ise, that you find 
yourself upon an elevation without perceiving you 
ascended. Behind, but at a great distance, stand 
the Apennine mountains ; in the calmest days 
breezes reach us from thence, but so spent and 
weakened by the long tract of land they travel over, 
that they are entirely divested of all their strength 
and violence. ^ 

The exposure of the main part of the house isH 
full south ; thus it seems to invite the sun, from 
midday in summer (but something earlier in 
winter), into a wide and proportionably long portico, 
containing many divisions, one of which is an atrium, 
built after the manner of the ancients. In front of 
the portico is a terrace divided into a great number 
of geometrical figin-es, and bounded with a box- 
hedge. The descent from the terrace is a sloping 
bank, adorned with a double row of box-trees cut in 



inscripsit ; acanthus in j)l.iiio mollis et paene dixerim 

liquidiis. Ambit hunc ambulatio pressis varieque 

tonsis viridibus incliisa ; ab his gestatio in niodum 

circi, quae buxiim nuiltiformem huinilesque et 

retentas manu arbusculas circumit. Omnia macena~ 

muniuntur <"1ianc gradata buxus operit et subtrahit. 

Pratiiin inde non minus natura quam superiora ilia 

arte visenduin ; campi deinde porro multaque alia 

prata et arbusta. 

A capite porticus triclinium excurrit. Valvis 

xystum desinentem et protinus pratum multumque 

ruris videt,(fenestris hac latus xysti, et quod prosilit 

villae, liac adiacentis hippodromi nemus comasque 

prospectat. | Contra mediam fere porticum diaeta 

paulum recedit, cingit areolam, quae quattuor pla- 

tanis inumbratur. Inter has marmoreo labro aqua 

exundat circumiectasque platanos et subiecta pla- 

tanis leni aspergine fovet. Est in hac diaeta dornii- 

torium cubiculuni, quod diem, clamorem, sonum ex- 

cludit, iunctaque ei cotidiana amicorumque cenatio^; 

* amicorumque cen. Eicc. FDa, K, amicorum ceuatio 
quae M. 


BOOK V. vi 

the shape of animals ; the level ground at the foot 
of the bank is covered with the soft, I Iiad almost 
said, the liquid acanthus : this lawn is surrounded by 
a walk enclosed with dense evergreens, trimmed 
mt'o a variety of forms. Beyond is an allce laid out 
in the form of a circus, Avhich encircles a plantation 
of box-trees cut in numberless different figures, and 
of small shrubs, either low-growing or prevented by 
the shears from running up too high. The whole is 
fenced in with a wall, /masked by box-trees, whicli 
rise in graduated ranks to the top. Beyond the wall 
lies a meadow that owes as many beauties to nature, 
as all I have been describing within does to art ; at 
the end of which are several other meadows and 
fields interspersed with thickets. 

At the extremity of the portico stands a grand 
dining-room, which through its folding-doors looks 
upon one end of the terrace ; while beyond there 
is a very extensive prospect over the meadows 
up into the country ; ^fVom the windows you sur- 
vey on the one hand the side of the terrace and 
such parts of the house which project forward, on 
the other, with the woods enclosing the adjacent 
hippodrome, i Opposite almost to the centre of the 
portico stands a suite of apartments something 
retired, which encompasses a small court, shaded by 
four plane-trees, in the midst of which a fountain 
rises, from whence the water running over the edges 
of a marble basin gently refreshes the surrounding 
plane -trees and the ground underneath them. This 
suite contains a bed-chamber free froin every kind of 
noise, and which the light itself cannot penetrate ; 
together with my ordinary dining-room that I use 
too when I have none but familiar friends with me ; 



areolani illam, porticum [aliam] ^ eademque omnia 
quae portkus aspicit. Est ct aliiid cubiculum a 
proxima platano viride et umbrosum, marmore 
excultum podio tenus, nee cedit gratiae marmoris 
ramos insidentesque ramis aves imitata pictura. 
Fonticulus in hoc in fonte crater; circa sipunculi 
plures miscent iucundissimum murmur. 

In cornu porticus amplissimum cubiculum a tricli- 
nio occurrit ; aliis fenestris xystum, aliis despicit 
pratum, sed ante piscinam^ quae fenestris servit ac 
subiacet, strepitu visuque iucundam ; nam ex edito 
desiliens aqua suscepta marmore albescit. Idem 
cubiculum hieme tepidissimum, quia plurimo sole 
perfunditur. Cohaeret hypocauston et, si dies 
nubilus, immisso vapore solis vicem supplet. Inde 
apodyterium balinei laxum et hilare excipit cella 
frigidaria, in qua baptisterium amplum atque opa- 
cum. Si natare latius aut tepidius velis, in area 
piscina est, in proximo puteus, ex quo possis rur- 
sus adstringi, si paeniteat teporis. Frigidariae celiac 
conectituif media, .'cui sol benignissime praesto est, 
' [aliam] incl, K, porticus alia Fpra. 

BOOK V. vi 

this looks upon the little court I just now described, 
also upon the portico and the whole prospect thence. 
There is, besides, another room, which, being situated 
close to the nearest plane-tree, enjoys a constant 
shade and verdure ; its sides are covered with marble 
up to the cornice : on the frieze above a foliage is 
painted, with birds perched among the branches, 
which has an effect altogether as agreeable as that of 
the marble. In this I'oom is placed a little fountain, 
that, playing through several small pipes into a vase, 
produces a most pleasing murmur. 

From^a Aving of the portico you enter into a very 
spacious cTiamber opposite to the grand dining-room, 
which from some of its windows has a view of the 
terrace, and from others of the meadow, Avhile those 
in the front dominate an ornamental basin just 
beneath them, which entertains at once both the eye 
and the ear ; for the water falling from a great 
height^ foams round its marble receptacle. This 
"room is extremely warm in winter, being much 
exposed to the sun, and in a cloudy day the hot air 
from an adjoining stove very well supplies his 
absence. From hence you pass through a spacious 
and pleasant undressing-room into the cold-bath- 
room, in which is a large, gloomy bath : but if you 
are disposed to swim more at large, or in warmer 
water, there is a pool for that purpose in the court, 
and near it a reservoir from whence you may be 
supplied with cold water to brace yourself again, if 
you should perceive you are too nuich relaxed by the 
warm. Contiguous to the cold-bath is a tepid one, 
which enjoys the kindly warmth of the sun, but 
not so intensely as that of the hot-bath, which 
projects from the house. This last consists of three 


VOL. 1. C C 


caldariae magis ; prominet enini.f Inhac tres descen- 
siones, duae in sole, tertia a sole longius, a luce 
non longius. 

Apodyterio superpositum est sphaeristerium, quod 
plura genera exercitationis pluresque circulos capit. 
Nee procul a balineo scalae^ quae in cryptoporticum 
ferunt, prius ad diaetas tres. Harum alia areolae 
illi, in qua platani quattuor, alia prato, alia vineis 
imminet diversasque eaeli partes ut prospectus habet. 
In sunima cryptoporticu cubiculum ex ipsa crypto- 
porticu excisum, quod hippodromum, vineas, monies 
intuetur. lungitur cubiculum obvium soli, maxime 
hiberno. Hinc oritur diaeta, quae villae hippodro- 
nium adnectit. 

Haec facies, hie usus a fronte. A latere aestiva 
cryptoporticus in edito posita, quae non aspicere vi- 
neas, sed tangere videtur. In media tx'iclinium salu- 
berrimum adflatum ex Appenninis vallibus recipit ; 
post latissimis fenestris vineas, valvis aeque vineas, 
sed per cryptoporticum quasi admittit. A latere 
triclinii, quod fenestris caret, scalae convivio utilia 
secretiore ambitu suggerunt. In fine cubiculum, cui 
non minus iucundum prospectum cryptoporticus 

BOOK V. vi 

several divisions, each of different degrees of heat : 
the two former He open to the full sun, the latter, 
though not so much exposed to its heat, receives an 
equal share of its light. 

Over the undressing-room is built the ball-court, 
which is large enough to admit of several different 
kinds of games being played at once, each with its 
own circle of spectators. Not far from the baths is 
a stair-case/' which leads to a gallery, and to three 
apartments oh the way ; one of these looks upon the 
little court with the four plane-trees round it ; 
another has a sight of the meadows ; the third abuts 
upon the vineyard, and commands a prospect of 
opposite quarters of the heavens. At one end of 
the gallery, and indeed taken off from it, is a 
chamber that looks upon the hippodrome, the 
vineyard and the mountains ; adjoining is a room 
which has a full exposure to th& sun, especially in 
winter: from hence runs an apartment that connects 
the hippodrome with the house. 

Such are the villa's beauties and conveniences on 
the front. On the side is a summer gallery which 
stands high, and has not only a prospect of the 
vineyard, but seems almost to touch it. Midway it 
contains a dining-room cooled by the wholesome 
breezes which come from the Apennine valleys : 
the back-windows, which are extremely large, 
let in, as it were, the vineyards, as do the 
folding-doors, but you get the latter view through 
the gallery. Along that side of this dining-room 
where there are no windows, runs a private stair case 
for the greater conveniency of serving at enter- 
tainments ; at the farther end is a chamber from 
whence the eye is entertained with a view of the 

c c 2 


ipsa quam vineae praebent. Subest cryptoporticus 
subterraneae similis ; aestate incluso frigore riget 
contentaque acre suo nee desidenit auras nee ad- 

Post utramque cryptoporlicum, uncle triclinium 
desinitj incipit porticus ante medium diem hiberna, 
inclinato die aestiva. Hac adeuntur diaetae duae, 
quarum in altera cubicula quattuor, altera tria, ut 
circumit sol^ aut sole utuntur aut umbra. Hanc dis- 
positionem amoenitatemque tectorum longe late- 
que praecedit hippodromus. Medius patescit statim- 
que intrantium oculis totus offertur, platafiis cir- 
cumitur ; illae hedera vestiuntur utque summae suis 
ita imae alienis frondibus virent. Hedera truncum 
et ramos pererrat vicinasque platanos transitu suo 
copulat. Has buxus interiacet ; exteriores buxos cir- 
cumvenit laurus umbraeque platanorum suani con- 
fert. Rectus hie hippodromi limes, in extrema parte 
hemicyclio frangitur mutatque faciem ; cupressis 
ambitur et tegitur densiore umbra opacior nigrior- 
que ; interioribus circulis (sunt enim plures) pu- 
rissimum diem recipit. Inde etiam rosas effert 
umbrarumque frigus non ingrato sole distinguit. 

Finite vario illo multiplicique curvamine recto 

BOOK V. vi 

vineyards^ and (what is equally agreeable) of the 
gallery. Underneath this room is a gallery re- 
sembling a crypt, which in the midst of summer 
heats retains its pent-up chilliness, and, enjoying^its 
own atmosphere, neither admits nor Avan't?'' the 
refreshment of external breezes. 

Behind both these galleries, at the end of the 
dinTng-Yoom, stands a portico, which as the day is 
more or less advanced, serves either for winter or 
summer use. It leads to two different apartments, 
one containing four chambers, the other three, which 
enjoy, as the day progresses, alternately sun and 
shade. In the front of these agreeable buildings 
lies a very sj)acious hippodrome, ^nth-el^^Qpeii in, the 
middle, by Avhich means the eye, upon your first 
entrance, takes in its whole extent at one view. It 
is encompassed on every side with plane-trees 
covered with ivy, so that while their heads flourish 
with their own green, their bodies enjoy a borrowed 
verdure ; and the ivy twining round the trunk and 
branches, spreads from tree to tree, and connects 
them together. Between each plane-tree are planted 
box-ti-ees, and behind these, bay-trees, which blend 
their shade with that of the planes. Thejraised 
path around the hippodrome, which TTere runs 
"straight, bends at the farther end into a semi-circle 
and takes on a new aspect, being embowered in 
cypress-ti-ees and obscured by their denser and more 
gloomy shade ; while the inward circular alleys (for 
there are severat) enjoy the full sun. Farther on, 
there ai*e roses too along the path, and the cool 
shade is pleasantly alternated with sunshine. 

Having passed through these manifold winding 
alleys, the path resumes a straight course^ and at the 



limiti redditur nee huic uni ; nam viae plures inter- 
cedentibus buxis dividuntur. Alibi pratulum, alibi 
ipsa buxus intervenit in formas mille discriptaj litteris ^ 
interdum, quae modo nomen domini dicunt, modo 
artificis. 'Alternis metulae surgunt, alternis inserta 
sunt poma, et in opere urbanissimo subita velut illati 
ruris imitatio. Medium spatium brevioribus utrim- 
<jue platanis adornatur. Post has acanthus hinc inde 
liibricus et flexuosus, deinde plures figurae pluraque 

In capite stibadium candido marmore vite prote- 
gitux* ; vitem quattuor coluniellae Carystiae subeunt. 
Ex stibadio aqua velut expressa cubantium pondere 
sipuneulis effluit^ cavato lapide suscipitur, gracili 
marmore continetur atque ita occulte temperatur^ ut 
impleat nee redundet. (Gustatorium graviorque cena 
margini imponitur, levior navicularum et avium 
figuris innatans circumit. Contra fons egerit aquam 
et recipit ; nam expulsa in altum in se cadit iunctisque 
luatibus et absorbetur et tollitur. 

E regione stibadii adversum cubiculum tantum 
stibadio reddit ornatus, quantum accipit ab iWo.j 
Marmore splendet, valvis in viridia prominet et exit, 

* litteris Fpra, Otto, Miiller,\itteraiS M D, B'pons, K. 
» gustatorium, a tray or dish of hora (Vauvrea. 

BOOK V. vi 

same time divides into several tracks, separated 
by box-hedges. In one place you have a little 
meadow ; in another the box is interposed in groups, 
and cut into a thousand different forms ; sometimes 
into letters, expressing the name of the master, 
or again that of the artificer : whilst here and there 
little obelisks rise intermixetT^alternately with fruit- 
trees : when on a sudden, in the midst of this 
elegant regularity, you are surprised with an imitation 
"of the negligent beauties of rural nature; in the 
centre of which lies a spot surrounded with a knot of 
dwarf plane-trees. Beyond these are interspersed 
clumps of the smooth and twining acanthus ; then 
come a variety of figures and names cut in box. 

At the upper end is a semi-circular bench of white 
marble, shaded with a vine which is trained upon 
four small pillars of Carystian marble. Water 
gushing through several little pipes from under this 
bench, as if it were pressed out by the weight of the 
persons who repose themselves upon it, falls into a 
stone cistern underneath, from whence it is received 
ifito a fine polished marble basin, so artfully contrived 
that it is always full without ever overflowing. 
('when I sup here, the tray of whets'* and larger 
dishes are placed round the margin, while the 
smaller ones swim about in the form of little ships 
and water-fowl. ) Opposite this is a fountain which 
is incessantly emptying and filling : for the water, 
which it throws up a great height, falling back again 
into it, is by means of connected openings retui-ned 
as- fast as it is received. 

Fronting the bench (and which reflects as great an 
ornament to it, as it borrows from it) stands a 
chamber\)f lustrous marble, whose doors project and 



alia viridia siipcrioribus inferioribusque fenestris sus- 
picit despicitque. Mox zothecula refugit quasi in 
cubiculum idem atque aliud. Lectus hie et undique 
fenestrae, et tanien lumen obscurum umbra premente. 
Nam laetissima vitis per omne tectum in culmen 
nititur et ascendit. Non secus ibi quam in nemore 
iaceas, imbrem tantum tamquam in nemore non 
sentias. Hie quoque fons nascitur simulque sub- 
ducitur. Sunt locis pluribus disposita sedilia e mar- 
more, quae ambulatione fessos ut cubiculum ipsum 
iuvant. Fonticuli sedilibus adiacent ; per totum 
hippodi'omum inducti fistulis strepunt rivi, et, qua 
manus duxit, sequuntur. His nunc ilia viridia, nunc 
haec, interdum simul omnia lavantur.^ 

Vitassem iam dudum, ne viderer argutior, nisi 
j)roposuissem omnes angulos tecum epistula circumire. 
Neque enim verebar, ne laboriosum esset legenti tibi, 
quod visenti non fuisset,praesertim cuminterquiescere, 
si liberet, depositaque epistula quasi residere saepius 
posses. Praeterea indulsi amori meo ; amo enim, 
quae maxima ex parte ipse inchoavi aut inchoata 
percolui. In summam (cur enim non aperiam tibi vel 
iudicium meum vel errorem ?) primum ego officium 
scriptoris existimo, ut titulum suum legat atque 

* lavautur Bipons, M idler, iuvantur Fa, laetantur^. 

BOOK V. vi 

open into a lawn ; from its upper and lower windows 
the eye ranges upward or downward over other 
spaces of verdure. Next to this is a little private 
closet (which though it is distinct may be laid into 
the same room) furnished with a couch ; and not- 
withstanding it has windows on every side, yet it 
enjoys a very agreeable gloominess, by means of a 
flourishing vine which climbs to the top, and entirely 
overshades it. Here you may lie and fancy yourself 
in a wood, with this difference only, that you are not 
exposed to the rain. Here, too, a fountain rises and 
instantly disappears. In different quarters are dis- 
posed several marble seats, which serve, no less than 
the chamber, as so many reliefs after one is wearied 
with walking. Near each seat is a little fountain ; 
and throughout the whole hippodrome small rills 
conveyed through pipes run murmuring along, where- 
soever the hand of art has thought proper to conduct 
them ; watering here and there diff"erent spots of 
verdure, and in their progress bathing the whole. ^ 
I should have avoided ere tiiis the appearance of 
being too minute in detail, if I had not pi'oposed to 
lead you by this letter into eveiy corner of riiy house 
and gardens. But I am not afraid you will think it 
a trouble to read of a place, which you would think it 
none to survey ; especially as you can take a rest 
whenever you please, sit down as it were, by laying 
aside my letter. Besides I have indulged the 
fondness which I confess I feel for what was mostly 
either put in hand, or carried to perfection, by myself. 
To sura up (for why should I conceal from my 
friends my sentiments whether right or wrong ? )i I 
hold it the first duty of an author to con his title- 
page, and frequently ask himself what he set out to 



identidem interroget se^ quid coeperit scribere, 
sciatque, si materiae immoratur, non esse longum, 
longissimum, si aliquid arcessit atque attrahit. 

Vides, qiiot versibus Homerus, quot Virgilius arma, 
hie Aeneae, Achillis ille, describat ; brevis tamen 
uterque est, quia facit, quod instituit. Vides, ut 
Aratus minutissima etiam sidera consectetur et 
colligat ; modum tamen servat. Non enim excursus 
hie eius, sed opus ijisum est. Similiter nos, ut parva 
magnis, cum totam villam oculis tuis subicere 
conemur, si nihil inductum et quasi devium loquimur, 
non epistula^ quae describit, sed villa, quae describitur, 
magna est. 

Verum illuc, unde coepi, ne secundum legem meam 
iure reprehendar, si longior fuero in hoc, in quod 
excessi. Habes causas, cur ego Tuscos meos Tus- 
culanis, Tiburtinis Praenestinisque meis praeponam. 
Nam super ilia, quae retuli, altius ibi otium et 
pinguius eoque securius ; nulla necessitas togae, 
nemo arcessitor ex pi'oximo ; placida omnia et 
quiescentia, quod ipsum salubritati regionis ut purius 
caelum, ut aer liquidior accedit. Ibi animo, ibi cor- 
pore, maxime valeo. Nam studiis animum, venatu 
corpus exerceo. Mei quoque nusquam salubrius 
degunt ; usque adhuc certe neminem ex lis, quos 

BOOK V. vi 

write ; and he may be assured if he closely pursues 
his subject he cannot be tedious ; whexeas.^ if he 
drags in extraneous matters^ he will be tedious to the 
last degree. 

You see how many lines Homer and Virgil devote 
respectively to describing the arms of Achilles and 
the arms of Aeneas ; yet each poet is succinct, because 
he carries out his original design. Aratus, you see, 
keeps due proportion, though he traces and groups 
the minutest stars ; for this is no digression on his 
pai-t, but his main subject. In the same manner (to 
compare small things with great), if endeavouring to 
bring my whole villa before your eyes, I have not 
wandered into any thing foreign, or, as it were, 
devious, it is not my letter, which describes, but 
tlie villa, which is described, that is to be deemed 

But not to dwell any longer upon this digression 
lest I should myself be condemned by themaxim I have 
just laid down ; I have now informed you why I 
prefer my Tuscan villa, to those which I possess at 
Tusculum, Tiber, and Praeneste. Besides the advan- 
tages already mentioned,, I there enjoy a secure:-, as TF^ 
is a more profound leisure ; I never need put on full 
dress ; nobody calls from next door on urgent 
business. All is calm and composed ; which con- 
tributes, no less than its clear air and unclouded 
sky, to the salubrity of the spot. There I am 
peculiarly blessed with health of body and cheer- 
fulness of mind, for I keep my mind in proper ') 
exercise by study and my body by hunting. J And 
indeed there is no place which agrees better with 
all my household ; 1 am sure, at least, I have not 
yet lost one (under favour be it spoken) of all 




eduxeram mecum (venia sit dicto), ibi amisi. Di 
modo in posterum hoc mihi gaudium, banc gloriam 
loco servent. Vale. 

C. PuNius Calvisio Sue S. 


JNec heredem institui nee praecipere posse rem- 
publicam constat^ Saturninus autem, qui nos reli- 
quit beredes, quadrantem reipublicae nostrac, de- 
inde pro quadrante praeceptionem quadringentorum 
milium dedit. Hoc^ si ius aspicias, irritum, si de- 
functi voluntatemj ratum et firmum est. Mibi autem 
defuncti voluntas (vereoi% quam in partem iuris- 
consulti, quod sum dicturus, accipiant) antiquior 
iure est, utique in eo, quod ad communem patriam 
voluit pervenirer~An7^ui~der~meo^ sestertium sede- 
"cTes contulij buic quadringentorum milium paulo 
amplius tertiam parteni ex adventicio denegem ? 

Scio te quoque a iudicio meo non abborrere, cum 
eandem rem publicam ut civis optimus diligas. 
Velim ergOj cum proxime decuriones contraben- 
tur, quid sit iuris, indices, parce tamen et mo- 
deste ; deinde subiungas nos quadringenta milia 
ofFerre, sicut praecepit Saturninus. Illius hoc mu- 
nus, iliius libei-alitas ; nostrum tantum obsequium 

BOOK V. vi.-vii 

those I brought with me hither. May the gods 
continue this happiness to me, and tliis glory to 
my villa 1 Farewell. 


To Calvisius 

It is certain the law does not allow a corporate 
city to inherit any estate by will, or to receive a 
legacy. Saturninus, however, who has appointed me 
his heii", has left a fourth part of his estate to our 
corporation of Comum ; which devise he afterwards 
changed into an absolute legacy of 400,000 sestercesT) 
This bequest, in a legal view, is void ; but, looking to 
the intention of the deceased, is perfectly valid. 
Now to me (though I am afraid the lawyers will not 
be pleased with what I say) such intentions are of 
higher force than any law, especially in a case where 
the deceased meant to benefit his native town, which 
is also mine. It would be extremely inconsistent 
in me, who made it a present of eleven hundred , 
thousand sesterces out of my own patrimony, to 
withhold from it a benefaction of a little more than 
a third part of that sum, out of a windfall. 

You, who have the affection of a loyal citizen for 
this same commonwealth, will join with me, I dare 
say, in these sentiments. I wish therefore you 
would, at the next assembly of the town-council, 
acquaint them, in a brief unassuming style, how the 
law stands in this case ; then add that I shall pay 
them 400,000 sesterces, as bequeathed by Saturninus. 
You will represent it as his present and his liberality ; 
and that I merely comply with his wishes. I forbear 



vocetur. Haec ego scribere publice supersedi, pri- 
mum quod memineram pro necessitudine amici- 
tiae nostrae, pro facilitate prudentiae tuae et de- 
bere te et posse perinde meis ac tuis partibus fungi, 
deinde quia vercbar, ne modum, quern tibi in 
sermone custodire facile est, tenuisse in epistula 
non viderer. Nam sermonem vultus, gestus, vox 
ipsa moderatur, epistula omnibus commendatio- 
nibus destituta malignitati interpretantium expo- 
nitur. Vale. 


C. Plinius TiTiNio Capitoni Suo S, 

SuADES, ut historiam scribam, et suades non solus ; 
multi hoc me saepe monuerunt, et ego volo, non 
quia commode facturum esse confidam (id enim 
temere credas nisi expertus), sed quia mihi pulchrum 
in primis videtur non pati occidere, quibus aeternitas 
debeatur, aliorumque famam cum sua extendere. Me 
autem nihil aeque ac diuturnitatis amor et cupido 
sollicitat, res homine dignissima, eo praesertim, qui 
nullius sibi conscius culpae posteritatis memoriam 
non reformidet. Itaque diebus ac noctibus cogito, 
'si qua me quoque possim tollere humo '; ^ id eniin 
voto meo sufficit, illud supra votum ' victorque virum 
volitare per era.' ^ 

• Georgica iii. 8. '^ ih. iii. 9. 

BOOK V. vii.-viii 

writing to their council concerning this affair, re- 
flecting that our strict friendship obliges, as your 
abounding good sense enables you, to act for me as 
you would for yourself ; besides, I am afraid I should 
not seem to have preserved that just medium in my 
letter, which you will much easier be able to do in a 
speech. The countenance, the gesture, and even the 
tone of voice governs and determines the sense of 
the speaker : whereas a letter, being destitute of all 
recommendations, is liable to be misinterpreted by 
malicious minds. Farewell. 


To TiTiNius Capito 

You are not singular in the advice you give me to 
undertake the writing of history ; it is a work which 
many have frequently pressed upon me; and I 
strongly incline to it. Not that I have any confidence 
of success (which you would think presumptuous in 
a tiro), but because I hold it a noble task to rescue 
from oblivion those who deserve to be eternally 
remembered, and extend the fame of others, at the 
same time as our own. Nothing, I confess, so strongly 
affects me as the desire of a lasting name : a passion 
highly worthy of the human breast, especially of 
one, who, not being conscious to himself of any ill, is 
not afraid of being remembered by posterity. It 
is the continual subject therefore of my thoughts : 
" How from the lowly ground I too may rise," 
for to that I moderate my prayers ; the sequel, to be 

" Wafted victorious by the breath of men " 
is much beyond them. 



' Quamquam o ! ' sed hoc satis est, quod prope 
sola liistoria polliceri videtur. Orationi enim et 
carmini parva gratia, nisi eloquentia est summa, 
liistoria quoquo mode scripta delectat. Sunt enim 
homines natura curiosi et quanilibet iiuda rerum 
cognitione capiuntur, ut qui serniunculis etiam fabel- 
lisque ducantur. Me vero ad hoc studium impellit 
domesticum quoque exemplum. Avunculus meus 
idemque per adoptionem jiater historias, et quidem 
religiosissime scripsit. Invenio autem apud sapien- 
tes honestissimum esse maiorura vestigia sequi, si 
modo recto itinere praecessei'int. 

Cur ergo cunctor ? Egi magnas et graves causas. 
Has, etiamsi milii tenuis ex eis spes, destine retrac- 
tare, ne tantus ille labor meus, ni hoc, quod reliquum 
est studii, addidero, mecum pariter intercidat. Nam 
si rationem posteritatis habeas, quidquid non est 
peractum, pro non inchoato est. Dices : * Potes 
simul et rescribere actiones et componere historiam.' 
Utinam I sed utrumque tarn magnum est, ut abunde 
sit alterum efficere. Unodevicesimo aetatis anno 
dicere in foro coepi et nunc demum, quid praestare 
debeat orator, adhuc tamen per caliginem video. 
Quid, si huic oneri novum accesserit ? 

Habet quidem oratio et liistoria multa communia, 

<* The unexpressed wish is for the victory just renounced. 
The words are those of Mnestheus, who seeing himself dis- 
tanced in a race, exclaims that he now strives not to win 
(" Yet ! — "), but only to escape the disgrace of coming in 
last. — Aen. v. 195. * See iii. 6. 


BOOK V. viii 

" Yet O ! " — " However, the former fate is enough 
for me, and History seems ahnost the only means 
that can assure it. Oratory and Poetry meet small 
favour unless carried to the highest point of 
eloquence ; but History, however executed, always 
pleases, for mankind are naturally inquisitive, and in- 
formation, however baldly presented, has its charm for 
beings who adore even small talk and anecdote. But, 
besides this, I have an examjile in my own family 
that incites me to this j)ursuit, my uncle and adoptive 
father ^ having been a historian, and that a very 
accurate one ; and I read in the philosophers that 
'tis a high virtue to tread in the steps of our 
ancestors, when they have gone before us in the 
right path. 

Why then, you ask, do I yet delay ? My reason 
is this : I have pleaded some very important causes, 
and (though I buiid but small hopes on them) 1 
design to revise my speeches, lest for want of this 
last cai'e, all the pains they cost me should be thrown 
away, and they perish with their author ; for as far 
as posterity is concerned, a work that has not 
received the last polish counts no more than if you 
had never begun it. You will tell me, perhaps, I 
might correct my speeches and write history at the 
same time. I wish I could ; but they are both such 
great undertakings, that to complete either of them 
would more than satisfy me. I was but nineteen 
when 1 first appeai-ed at the bar ; and yet it is only 
now at last I perceive (and that in truth but dimly) 
what is essential to a complete orator. How then 
shall I be able to support the weight of an 
additional burthen .'' 

It is true, indeed, history and oratory have manv 


VOL. I. D D 


sed plura diveisa in bis ipsiSj quae communia 
videiitur. Narrat ilia, narrat haec, sed aliter ; huic 
pleraque humilia et sordida et ex medio petitaj jlU 
omnia recondita, splendida, excelsa conveniunt : banc 
saepius ossa, musculi. nervi, illam tori quidam et quasi 
itibae decent ; haec vel maxime vi, amaritudine, 
instantia, ilia tractu et suavitate atque etiam dulce- 
dine placet ; posti'emo alia verba, alius sonus, alia 
constructio. Nam plurimum refert, ut Tbucjdides 
ait, KTTiiia sit an ayuiviajxa ; ^ quorinn alterum oratio, 
alterum bistoria est. 

His ex causis non adducor, ut duo dissimilia et 
lioe ipso diversa, quod maxima, confundam misceam- 
que, ne tanta quasi colluvione turbatus ibi faciani, 
quod bic debeo ; ideoque interim veniam, ne a 
forensibus - verbis discedam, advocandi peto. Tu 
tamen iam nunc cogita, quae potissimum tempera 
aggi'ediamuv. Vetei'a et scripta aliis ? Parata inqui- 
sitio, sed onerosa collatio. Intacta et nova ? Graves 
offensae, levis gratia. Nam praeter id, quod in tantis 
vitiis bominum plura culpanda sunt quam luudanda. 

' Thuc. i. 22. 

- forensibus Dpra, Milller, ineis M, Bipuns, K. 


BOOK V. viii 

common features ; yet in these very apparent re- 
semblances, there are several contrasts. Both deal 
in narrative, but each after a diiferent fashion. 
Orato ry must concern itself as a rule with the low 
and vulgar facts of every-day life ; History treats 
only of what is recondite, splendid, elefvateJ; a dry, 
forcible, nervous style befits the one, but embellish- 
ments, and what one may call iop-knols, t\\g^„^k^Y. 
Oratory pleases most when it is vigorous, biting, and 
vehement ; History, when it is diffusive, bland, and 
even dulcet. Lastly, diction, rhythm, and the 
structure of the periods, are distinctly different in 
these two arts. For there is all the difference in 
the world, as Thucydides observes, between a 
■possession and a prize-coiii position ; the first of which 
terms applies to History, the second to Oratory. 

For these reasons I decline to intermingle two 
dissimilar pursuits, which are opposite just because 
they are both so highly important ; lest distraught 
by a sort of conflux, I should do in one case 
what is only proper to the other. Therefore 
(to keep to my professional language) I must beg 
leave the cause may be adjourned. In the mean- 
while I refer it to your consideration, what period 
of history I shall conmience upon. Those remote 
times which have been treated of already by 
others .'' Here, indeed, the materials will be ready 
to my hands, but the collating of the several his- 
torians will be extremely troublesome. Or shall I 
write of the present times, and those wherein no 
other author has gone before me } If so, I may 
probably give offence to many and please but few. 
For in an age so over-run with vice, you will find 
infinitely more to condemn than approve ; yet your 


D D 2 


turn, si laudaveris, parcus, si culpaveris^ nimius fuisse 
dicaris, quamvis illud plenissime, hoc restrictissime 

Sed haec me non retardant ; est enim mihi pro 
fide satis animi. Illud peto, praestemas, ad quod 
liortaris, eligasque materiam, ne mihi iam scribere 
parato alia rursus cunctationis et morae iusta ratio 
nascatur. Vale. 


C. PuNius Sempronio^ Rufo Suo S. 

Descenderam iu basilicam luliam auditurus^ quibus 
proxima comperendinatione respondere debebam. 
Sedebant iudiees, decemviri venerant, obversabaiitur 
advocati, silentium longum, tandem a praetore 
nuntius. Dimittuntur centumviri, eximitur dies me 
gaadente, qui numquam ita paratus sum^ ut non mora 
laeter. Causa dilationis Nepos praetor, qui legibus 
quaerit. Proposuerat breve edictum, admonebat 
accusatores, admonebat reos exsecuturum se, quae 
senatus consulto continerentur. Suberat edicto 
senatus consultum hoc : - omnes, qui quid negotii 
haberent, iurare, prius quam agerent, iubebantur 
nihil se ob advocationem cuiquam dedisse, promisisse, 

* Sempronio add. Havet ex Rice. 

^ sen. cons, hoc : omnes Miil/er, sen. cons. : hoc omnes 

" Where the Centumviral Court held its sessions. 

* i.e. that Praetor, who was President of the Centumviral 
Court. ' See iv. 29. 


BOOK V. viii.-ix 

praise, though ever so lavish, will be thought too 
reserved ; and your censure, though ever so cautious, 
too profuse. 

However, this does not at all discourage me ; for 
I want not sufficient resolution to bear testimony to 
truth. I expect, then, that you prepare the way 
which you have pointed out to me, and determine 
what subject I shall fix upon for my history, that 
when I am ready to enter upon the task you have 
assigned me, I may not be delayed by any new 
difficulty of importance. Farewell. 


To Sempronius Rufus 

I WENT into the Julian Basilica * to attend a cause 
in which at the next sitting I was to reply. The 
jurors had taken their seats, the presiding magistrates 
were arrived, the opposing counsel had taken their 
places ; after a long pause, came at last a messenger 
from the Praetor.* The Court broke up at once, and 
the case was adjourned — much to my delight, who 
am never so well prepared, but that I am glad of 
delay. The occasion of this postponement was an 
edict of Nepos," the Praetor for criminal causes, 
wherein he bade all plaintiffs and defendants in any 
cause before him take notice, that he should strictly 
enforce the decree of the Senate annexed to his 
edict. Which decree ran as follows — "All persons 
who have any law-suit depending are hereby ordered 
to take an oath before proceeding with their suit 
that they have not given, promised, or become 
caution for, any fee to any advocate in consideration 



cavisse. His enim verbis ac mille praeterea ct venire 
advocation es et emi vetabantur. Peractis tamen 
negotiis permittebatur pecuniam dumtaxat decern 
milium dai-e. 

Hoc facto Nepotis commotus praetor, qui centum- 
viralibus praesidebat, deliberaturus, an sequeretur 
exemplum, inopinatum nobis otium dcdit. Interim 
tota civitate Nepotis edictum carpitur, laudatur. 
Multi : ' Invenimus, qui curva corrigeret. Quid ? 
ante hunc praetores non fuerunt ? quis autem hie est, 
qui emendet publicos mores?' Alii contra : 'Rectis- 
sime fecit ; initurus magistratum iura recognovit, 
senatus consulta legit, reprimit foedissimas pactiones, 
rem pulcherrimam turpissime venire non patitur,' 
Tales ubique sermones ; qui tamen alterutram in 
partem ex eventu praevalebunt. Est omnino ini- 
quum, sed usu receptum, quod honesta consilia vel 
turpia, prout male aut pvospere ceduiit, ita vel pro- 
bantur vel reprehenduntur. Inde plerumque eadem 
facta modo diligentiae, modo vanitatis, modo liber- 
tatis, modo furoris nomen accipiunt. Vale. 


C. Plinius Suetonio Tranquillo Suo S. 
Libera tandem hendecasyllaborum meorum fidem, 
qui scripta tua communibus amicis spoponderunt. 

BOOK V. ix.-x 

of his undertaking their cause." In these terms, 
with a deal more to the same effect, the decree 
proliibits the buying and selling of legal advocacy. 
However a gratuity of ten thousand sesterces is 
permitted to be given, after a case is concluded. 

The Praetor of the Centumviral Court, being 
alarmed at this action of Nepos, gave us this un- 
expected holiday in order to deliberate whether lie 
should follow the example. In the meanwhile the 
whole town is divided into critics and ajiplauders of 
this edict. " We liave got someone at last (say a 
large party) to put things straight. But pray was 
there never a Praetor before ? Who is this man, 
after all, that sets up for a reformer.?" Others, on 
the contrary, say, "He has taken a very proper step ; 
upon entering into his office, he examined the 
statutes and read the decrees of the Senate ; he has 
repressed a most indecent traffic, and will not suffer 
a noble profession to be defiled by venality." 
Tliese are the reflections which are universally 
thrown out upon this occasion ; but which view is to 
become general, the event alone will determine. It 
is the usual though inequitable method of the world, 
to pronounce an action to be either right or wrong, 
as it is attended with good or ill success ; in con- 
sequence of which you shall hear the very same 
conduct attributed at different times to zeal or folly, 
to independence or insanity. Farewell. 


To Suetonius Tranquillus 

It is time you should acquit the promise my 
hendecasyllabic vei-ses gave to our common friends, 



Appellantur cotidie et flagitantur ; ac iani periculum 
est, ne cogaiitur ad exhibendum fornuilam accipere. 
Sum et ipse in edendo haesitator ; tu laineu meam 
quoque cunctationcm tarditatemque vicisti. Proinde 
aut rumpe iam moras aut cave, ne eosdem illos 
libellos, quos tibi hendecasyllabi nostri blanditiis 
elicere non possunt, convicio scazontes extorqueant. 
Perfectum opus absoluturiique est nee iam splendes- 
cit lima sed atteritur. Patere me videre titulum 
tuum ; patere audire descnbi, legi, venire volumina 
Tranquilli mei. Aequum est nos in amore tarn 
mutuG eandera percipere ex te voluptatem, qua tu 
perfrueris ex nobis. Vale. 


C. Plinius Calpurnio Fabato Prosocero Suo S. 

Reckpi litteras tuas, ex quibus cognovi specio- 
sissimam te porticum sub tuo filiique tui nomine 
dedicasse sequenti die in portarum ornatum pecu- 
niam promisisse, ut initium novae liberalitatis esset 
consummatio prioris. Gaudeo primum tua gloria, 
cuius ad me pars aliqua pro necessitudine nostra 
redundat ; deinde quod memoriam soceri mei pul- 
cherrimis operibus video proferri ; postremo quod 

BOOK V. x.-xi 

of your works. The world is every day impatiently 
inquiring after them, and there is ah-eady some 
danger of their being served with an order to " pro- 
duce documents." I am myself a good deal backward 
in publishing, but your slowness and liesitancy are 
more than a match for even mine. You must hasten 
your handj however, otherwise the severity of my 
satiric verses may perhaps extort from you those 
self-same writings which the blandishments of my 
softer Muse could not obtain. Your work is already 
arrived to that degree of perfection, that the file 
can only weaken, not polish it. Allow me then the 
pleasure of seeing your title-page, and hearing that 
books of my dear Tranquillus are being copied out, 
sold, and read. It is but fair, and agreeable to our 
mutual friendship, that I should reap from you the 
same pleasure you enjoy from me. Farewell. 


To Cai.purnius Fabatus His Wife's Grandfather. 

Your letter informs me that you have dedicated a 
noble public portico, as a memorial of yourself and 
your son; and that the next day after that ceremony 
you engaged to beautify the gates of our city at your 
own charge, that a fresh act of munificence may 
crown the completion of a former. I am gratified 
by an event so conducive to your glory ; which, from 
the connection between us, in some degree redounds 
to mine ; and further pleased to see the memory of 
my father-in-law delivered down to posterity by 
such beautiful structures. I rejoice^ lastly, at the 



patria nostra florescit, quam mihi a quocumqnc 
excoli iucundum, a te vero laetissimum est. 

Quod superest, deos precor, ut animum istum tibi, 
aninio isti tempus quam longissimum tribuant. Nam 
liquet mihi futurum ut peracto, quod proxime pro- 
misisti, inchoes aliud. Nescit enim semel inoitata 
liberalitas stare, cuius pulchritudinem usus ipse 
commendat. Vale. 


C. PuNius ScAURo Terentio Sue S. 

Recitaturus oratiunculam, quam publicare cogito, 
advocavi aliquos, ut revererer, paucos, ut verum 
audii'em. Nam ^ mihi duplex ratio recitandi, una, 
ut sollicitudine intendar ; altera, ut admonear, si 
quid forte me ut meum fallit. < Tuli, quod petebanij 
inveni, qui mihi copiam consilii sui facerent. Ipse 
praeterea quaedam emendanda adnotavi. Emen- 
davi librum, quem misi tibi. Materiam ex titulo 
cognosces, cetera liber explicabit, quem iam nunc 
oportet ita consuescere, ut sine praefatione intelle- 
gatur. Tu velim quid de universo, quid de parti- 

^ Nam M, Bipons, K, Etenim Dpra, Miillcr. 

BOOK V. xi.-xii 

prosperity of our native province ; everything that 
tends to her honour is agreeable to me, by what 
hand soever it may be conferred, but infinitely 
delightful when it is by yours. 

I now have only to pray that Heaven may long 
grant you this generous disposition^ and vouchsafe 
vou many years in which to exert it : for I see 
clearly that you will no sooner have carried out your 
promised benefaction, than you will begin upon 
some other. Generosity, when once she is set 
forward, knows not how to stop her progress ; as her 
beauty is of that order which grows the more 
"engaging upon nearer acquaintance. Farewell. 



To Terentius Scauuus 

^Designing to recite a little speech wliich I think 
of publishing, I invited an audience; sufficient to 
inspire me with diffidence, though at the same time 
small enough to secure my hearing the truth of 
their sentiments.) For I have a double vieAV in these 
rehearsals ; the first is, that solicitude may stimulate 
me to do my best ; the next, that any errors (which, 
being my own, might escape my notice) ,be pointed 
out to me. yl succeeded in my object,^nd some 
present obliged me with their advice ; moreover, I 
observed myself some passages which required 
correction. I made a fair copy of the piece, which 
I now send you. The subject of it will appear from 
the title, and for the rest I refer you to the copy 
itself, which it behoves you to have already so much 
acquaintance with, as not to stand in need of a 
preface to explain it. I beg you would sincerely 



bus sentias scribas mihi. Ero enim vel cautior 
in continendo vel constantior in edendOj si hue vel 
illuc auctoritas tiia accesserit. Vale. 

C. Pi.iNius Valeriano Suo S. 

Et tu rogas, et ego promisi, si rogasses, scrip- 
turum me tibi, quern habuisset eventum postula- 
tio Nepotis cii'ca Tuscilium Nominatum. Inductus 
est Nominatus, egit ipse pro se, nuUo accusante. 
Nam legati Vicetinorum non modo non presserunt 
eum, verum etiam sublevaverunt. 

Summa defensionis, non fidem sibi in advocatione, 
sed constantiam defuisse ; descendisse ut acturum 
atque etiam in curia visum, deinde sermonibus 
araicorum deterritum recessisse ; monitum enim, ne 
desiderio senatoris, non iam quasi de nundinis, sed 
quasi de gratia, fama, dignitate certantis tam 
pertinaciter, praesertim in senatu, repugnaret, alioqui 
maiorem invidiam quam proxime passurum.i Ei-at 
sane prius, a paucis tamen acclamatum exeunti. 
Subiunxit preces multumque lacrimarum ; quin etiam 
tota actione homo in dicendo exercitatus operam 
dedit, ut deprecari magis (id enim et favorabilius et 
tutius) quam defendi videretur. 

1 passurum M, Bipons, K, passurus Dpra, Miiller. 

o See Letter 4 of this book. 

BOOK V. xii.-xiii 

tell me your sentiments of the whole, and of its 
several parts. I shall be more cautious to suppress, 
or bold to publish it, as your judgement shall decide 
either way. Farewell. 

To Valerianus 

You wish to hear (what I promised to inform you, 
if you should wish it) how Nepos succeeded with 
his application against Tuscilius Nominatus.* The 
latter being brought before the Senate, pleaded his 
own cause. No accuser came forward ; for the 
Vicentine delegates, so far from pressing their 
charge, actually supported him. 

The sum of his defence was : "That not his 
integrity, but his courage, had failed him as counsel 
for the Vicentines ; that he came down intending to 
plead, and actually appeared in the Senate-house, 
but withdrew in alarm at his friends' remarks. For 
they warned him not to persist in opposing (especi- 
ally in the Senate) the inclinations of a Senator, who 
did not contend so much against the fair itself, as 
for his own credit and character ; if he did not 
desist, they said, he would undergo much greater 
odium than he had just before excited." (And it is 
true that on the former occasion he was hooted, 
though only by a few, as he went out.) He pro- 
ceeded to implore clemency, with many tears ; nay, 
in fact, throughout his whole speech (as he is a man 
extremely well versed in the arts of oratory) he was 
careful to give the impression of excusing, rather 
than justifying himself, thereby taking the more 
acceptable and safer course. 



vVbsolutus est sententia designati consulis Afranii 
Dextiij cuius liaec summa, melius quidem Nomi- 
luvtuin fuisse f;icturum, si causam Vicetinorum eodem 
anirnoj quo susceperat, pertulisset ; quia tamen in hoc 
genus culpae non fraude incidisset nihilque dignum 
animadversione admisisse convinceretur, liberandum^ 
ita ut Vicetinis, quod acceperat, redderet. Ad- 
senserunt onuies praeter Flavium ^ Aprum. Is inter- 
dicendum ei advocationibus in quinquennium censuit 
et quamvis neniinem auctoritate traxisset, constan- 
ter in sententia mansit ; quin etiam Dextrum, qui 
primus diversum censuerat, prolata lege de senatu 
habendo iurare coegit xC republica^sse, quod cen- 
suisset. Cui quamquam legitimae postulationi a 
quibusdam reclamatum est. Exprubiare enini cen- 
seuti ambitioneni videbatur. 

Sedj priusquam sententiae dicerentur, Nigrinus, 
tribunus plebis, recitavit libellum disertum et gravenij 
quo questus est venire advocationes, venire etiam 
praevaricationeSj in lites coiri et gloriae loco poni ex 
spoliis civium magnos et statos reditus. Recitavit 
capita legum^ admonuit senatus consulti^ in fine dixit 
petendum ab optimo principe, ut, quia leges, quia 
senatus consulta contemnerentur, ipse tantis vitiis 

^ ria\ iuhi a, Bipons, Momms., Midler, Fabium M K. 

BOOK V. xiu 

Afranius Dexter, tlie consul-elect, moved his 
acquittal in words to this effect : " Nominatus would 
have done better to carry through the cause of the 
V^icentines with the same resolution he undertook 
it ; however, since he had not incurred this species 
of guilt with intent to defraud, nor been convicted 
of any punishable offence, he should be discharged 
on condition of returning his fees to the Vicentines." 
The whole Senate agreed to this motion except 
Flavius Aper : his verdict was, that Nominatus 
should be forbidden to practise as an advocate for 
five years ; and though his influence could not win 
him a single supporter, he stood firm in his opinion. 
He even obliged Dexter, as proposer of the contrary 
motion, to make oath that he had proposed it for the 
oood of lite ?-epublic ; agveeahly to a law, wMdl'lie 
cited, concerning the procedure of the senate. 
This requisition, though certainly in order, was 
opposed by some as seeming to cast an imputation 
of partiality upon Dexter. 

But before the votes of the house were collected, 
Nigrinus, a tribune of the peo})le, read a ver}- 
elegant and weighty remonstrance, wherein he 
complained that the advocates took money not only 
to defend, but actually to betray the cause of their 
clients ; that law suits were settled by collusion, 
and that, instead of glory, a large and fixed revenue 
from the plundering of citizens was now the goal of 
the legal profession. He read out the lieadings of 
relevant statutes ; called attention to the decree of 
the Senate : and concluded by saying that since 
both the laws and the Senate had fallen into 
contempt, our excellent Emperor ought to be 
petitioned to remedy these crying evils himself. 



mederetur. Pauci dies, et liber principis severus 
et tamen moderatus ; leges iiisum ; est in publicis 

Quam me iuvat, quod in causis agendis non modo 
pactione, dono, munere, varum etiam xeniis semper 
abstinui ! Oportet quidem, quae sunt inhonesta, non 
quasi illicita, sed quasi pudenda, vitare ; iucundum 
tamen, si prohiberi publice videas, quod numquam 
tibi ipse permiseris. Erit fortasse, immo non dubie 
huius propositi mei et minor laus et obscurior 
fama, cum omnes ex necessitate facient, quod ego 
sponte faciebam. Interim fruor voluptate, cum alii 
divinum me, alii meis rapinis, meae avaritiae oc- 
cursum per ludum ac iocum dictitant. Vale. 


C. PuNius PoNTio Allifano^ Suo S. 

Secesseram in municipium, cum mihi nuntiatum 
est Cornutum Tertullum accepisse Aemiliae viae 
curam. Exprimere non possum, quanto sim gaudio 
adfectus, et ipsius et meo nomine, ipsius, quod, sit 
licet, sicut est, ab omni ambitione longe remotus, 
debet tamen ei iucundus esse honor ultro datus, 
^ Allifano add. Midler ex Bice. 

" The maintenance of each of the great roads leading out 
of Rome was under the charge of an ex-consul. The 


BOOK V. xiii.-xiv 

Accordingly, a few days after, an imperial edict was 
published, drawn up in severe, yet moderate terms ; 
this you will find in the official gazette. 

How it rejoices me, that, in my practice as ad- 
vocate, I have always refrained from making any 
bargain, or accepting any fee, reward, or so much as 
a friendly present. One ought, no doubt, to avoid 
whatever is dishonourable, not so much because it is 
illegal, as because it is shameful. But still there is 
pleasure in seeing a practice forbidden by the State, 
which one never suffered one's self to fall into. 
The credit and renown of my fixed rule in these 
matters may, or rather most certainly will, be 
considerably diminished and eclipsed, when every- 
body does on compulsion what I used to do of my 
own choice. In the meantime, however, I take a 
pleasure in my friends' banter, some of whom call 
me " the godlike Pliny," while others never tire of 
assuring me this edict was particularly levelled 
against my avarice and rapine. Farewell. 


To Pontius Ali.ifanus 

I WAS taking holiday at Comum when I heard that 
Cornutus Tertullus was appointed Curator of the 
Aemilian way." This news was inexpressibly agree- 
able to me, both upon his account and my own : 
upon his, because though ambition should be (as it 
certainly is) far removed from his heart, yet this 
unsought honour cannot but be acceptable to him ; 

Aemilian Way led to Milan, through Bologna, Modena, 
Parma and Piacenza. 

VOL. I. E E 


meo, quod aliquanto magis me delectat mandatum 
mihi officium, postquam par Cornuto datum video. 
Neque enim augeri dignitate quam aequari bonis 
gratius. Cornuto autcm quid melius, quid sanctius, 
quid in omni genere laudis ad exemplar antiquitatis 
expressius? quod mihi cognitum est non fama, qua 
alioqui optima et meritissima fruitur, sed longis 
magnisque experimentis. 

Una diligimus, una dileximus omnes fere, quos 
aetas nostra in utroque sexu aemulandos tulit ; quae 
societas amicitiarum artissima nos familiaritate 
conjunxit. Accessit vinculum necessitudinis pub- 
licae. Idem enim mihi, ut scis, collega quasi voto 
petitus in praefectura aerarii fuit, fuit et in consulatu. 
Tum ego, qui vir et quantus esset, altissime inspexi, 
cum sequerer ut niagistrum, ut parentem revererer, 
quod non tarn aetatis maturitate quam vitae merebatur. 
His ex causis ut illi sic mihi gratulor nee privatim 
magis quam publice, quod tandem homines non ad 
pericula ut prius, verum ad honoresvii'tute perveniunt. 

In infinitum epistulam extendam, si gaudio meo 
indulgeam. Praevertor ad ea, quae me agentem hie 
nuntius deprehendit. Eram cum prosocero meo, eram 
cum amita uxoris, eram cum amicis diu desideratis, 
circumibam agellos, audiebam multum rusticarum 
querelarum, rationes legebam invitus et cursim (aliis 

" Pliny was " curator alvti Tiberis et riparum et cloacarum 
iirbis," circ. 105-107 A.D. This post, combining conservancy 
of the Tiber and charge of the sewage system, was also held 
by an ex-consul. 


BOOK V. xiv 

upon mine, because I am much more gratified to 
hold my office,'* now I see one of equal importance 
bestowed on Cornutus ; for the pleasure of promotion 
exceeds not that of being placed in the same rank 
with men of worth. And where indeed is Cornutus* 
superior in worth and integrity ? Or who, in every 
respect, is a more express model of ancient virtue ? 
In this I do not found my judgement upon report, 
which justly speaks of him in the highest terms ; 
but upon long and frequent experience. 

We are, and ever have been, united in regard for 
almost all the exemplary characters of both sexes 
which this age has produced ; and our common 
friendships cemented us in the strictest intimacy. 
A further bond was created by our public relation ; 
Cornutus, you know, was my colleague as Prefect of 
the Treasury (I might almost say, in answer to my 
prayers I); my colleague, too, in the consulship. It 
was then I gained a thorough insight into the 
nobility of his virtues ; while I followed him as a 
teacher, and revered him as a parent ; and that not 
so much upon account of his age, as his merit. I 
congratulate myself, therefore, no less than him, and 
as much upon public as private grounds, that V'irtue 
is now no longer, as formerly, the road to danger, 
but to office. 

But if I give rein to my joyous sexitiments, I shall 
never have finished my letter. Let me turn to what 
I was about when the messenger arrived with this 
news. I was in company with my wife's grandfather 
and aunt, and with friends whose presence I had 
long missed ; I was going the round of my little 
property, hearing a deal of complaints from the 
rustics ; inspecting accounts — reluctantly and rapidly, 

K B 2 


enim chaitis, aliis sum litteris initiatus) coeperam 
etiain itineri me praeparare. Nam includor angustiis 
commeatus eoque ipso, quod delegatum Cornuto 
audio officium, mei admoneor. Cupio te quotpie 
sub idem tempus Campania tua remittat, ne quis, 
cum in urbem rediero, contubernio nostro dies 
pereat. Vale 


C. PuNius Arrio Antonino Suo S. 

Cum versus tuos aemulor, tum maxime, quam sint 
boni, experior. Ut enim pictores pulchram absolu- 
tamque faciem raro nisi in peius effingunt, ita 
ego ab hoc archetypo laboro et decido. Quo 
magis hortor, ut quam plurima proferas, quae 
imitari omnes concupiscant, nemo aut paucissimi 
possint. Vale. 


C. Plinius Aefulano ^ Marcelling Suo S. 

Tristissimus haec tibi scribo Fundani nostri filia 
minore defuncta, qua puella nihil umquam festivius, 
amabilius nee modo longiore vita,j sed prope immor- 
talitate, 1 dignius vidi. Nondum annos XIII ^ ini- 
pleverat, et iam illi anilis prudentia, matronalis 

1 Aefclano add. Midler ex Rice. 

* annoa XIII Merrill, from the inscription on her tomb 
{G.I.L. vi. 16631), quattuordecim codd. 


BOOK V. xiv.-xvi 

for I am a devotee of quite other sorts of documents ! 
AlsOj I had begun to prepare for travelling. For I 
am limited to a short furlough ; and indeed the 
news of this office being conferred on Cornutus, 
reminds me to hasten to the duties of my own. I 
hope your favourite Campania will resign you about 
the same time, so that when I return to Rome, 
not a day may be lost to our friendly intercourse. 


To Arrius Antoninus 

I AM never more sensible of the excellency of your 
verses, than when I endeavour to imitate them. As 
the hand of the painter must nearly always fail, when 
perfect beauty sits for the picture ; so I labour to 
catch the graces of this original, and still fall short 
of them. Let me conjure you then to continue to 
supply us with many more such models, which every 
man will have the wish, but few or none the power, 
to imitate. Farewell. 


To Aefulanus Marcellinus 

I WRITE this to you under the utmost oppression of 
sorrow: the younger daughter of our friend Fundanus 
is dead ! Never surely was there a more agreeable 
or amiable young person, or one who better deserved 
to have enjoyed a long, I had almost said, an 
immortal life ! She was scarce thirteen, and already 
had all the wisdom of age and sedateness of a matron. 



gravitas erat et tamen suavitas puellaris j cum vir- 

ginali verecundia. I Ut ilia patris cervicibus inhaere- 

bat ! ut nos amicos paternos et amanter et modeste 

complcctebatur ! ut nutrices et paedagogos, ut 

praeccptores, pro suo quemque officio, diligebat ! 

quam studiose, quam intellegenter lectitabat ' | ut 

parce custoditeque ludebat ! f Qua ilia temperantia, 

qua patientia, qua etiam constantia novissimam 

valetudinem tulit ! Medicis obsequebatur, sororem, 

patrein adhortabatur, ipsamque se destitutam corporis 

viribus vigore animi sustinebat. Dunivit hie illi 

usque ad extremum nee aut spatio valetudinis aut 

metu mortis infractus est J quo plures gravioresque 

nobis causas relinqueret et desiderii et doloris. 

j O triste plane acerbumque funus ! I-©-Tnorte-4psa 

jnortis^i^lripus indigm«s-l I iam destinata erat egregio 

iuveniiliam electus nuptiarum dies, iam nos vocati. 

Quod gaudium quo moerore mu latum est ^. Non 

possum exprimere verbis, quantum animo vulnus 

acceperim, cum audivi Fundanum ipsum, ut multa 

luctuosa dolor invenit, praecipientem, quod in vestes, 

margarita,^ gemmas fuerat erogaturus, hoc in tus ^ et 

unguenta et odores impenderetur. I Est quidem ille 

eruditus et sapiens, ut qui se ab ineunte aetate 

altioribus studiis artibusque dediderit : sed nunc 

1 margarita Jf, Bipons, K, inargaritas Dpra, Miiller. 
' tu8 M, Bipona, K, tura Dpra, Miiller. 


BOOK V. xvi 

though joined with youthful sweetness and virgin 
modesty. With what an engaging fondness would 
she hang upon lier father ! How affectionately 
and respectfully embrace us who were his friends ! 
How warm her regard for the nurses, conductors to 
school, and teachers, who, in their respective offices, 
liad the care and education of her ! Hoav studious, 
how intelligent, at her book, I how sparingly and 
discreetly she indulged in play ! With what for- 
bearance, patience, nay courage, did she endure her 
last illness ! She complied with all the directions of 
her physicians ; she encouraged her sister and her 
father ; and when all her sti'cngth of body was 
exhausted, supported herself by the single vigour of 
her mind. That, indeed, continued even to her last 
moments, unbroTcen by the pain of a long illness, or 
the terrors of approaching death ;J|and it is a reflection 
which makes the loss of her so much the more to be 

O truly hard and bitter doom ! And more cruel 
than death itself, to die at that particular con- 
juncture ! She was contracted to a most worthy 
youth ; the wedding day was fixed, and we were all 
invited. How sad a change from the highest joy, to 
the deepest sorrow ! How shall I express the wound 
that pierced my heart, when I heard Fundanus 
himself (as grief is ever fertile in painful inventions) 
ordering the money he was to have to laid out upon 
cloaths, pearls, and jewels for her marriage, to be 
expended on myrrh and spices for her funeral.'' He 
is, indeed, a man of great learning and good sense, 
having applied himself from his earliest youth to the 
nobler arts and studies ; but all those maxims which 
he has heard from others, and often inculcated 



omnia, quae audiit, saepeque dixit, aspernatur expul- 
sisque virtutibus aliis pietatis est totus. Ignosces, 
laudabis etiam, si cogitaveris, quid aniiserit. Amisit 
enirn filiani, quae non minus mores eius quam os vul- 
tumque referebat, totumque patrem mira similitudine 

Proinde^si quas ad eum de dolore tam iusto literas 
mittes, memento adhibere solaciumjnon quasi castiga- 
torium et nimis forte, fsed molleet numanum. \ Quod 
ut facilius admittat, multum faciet medii temporis 
spatium. Ut enim crudum adhuc vulnus meden- 
tium raanus reformidat, deinde patitur atque ultro 
requirit, sic recens animi dolor consolationes reicit 
ac refugit, mox desiderat et clementer admotis 
acquiescit. Vale. 


C. Plinius Vestricio ^ Spurinnae Suo S. 

Scio, quanto opere bonis artibus faveas, quantum 
gaudium capias, si nobiles iuvenes dignum aliquid 
maioribus suis faciant. Quo festinantius nuntio tibi 
fuisse me hodie in auditorio Calpurni Pisonis. Recita- 
bat KaTaa-Tepia-jxwv eruditam sane luculentamque mate- 
riam^ TScripta elegis erat fluentibus et teneris et 
enodibus, sublimibus etiam, ut poposcit locus. Apte 
enim et varie nunc attollebatur, nunc residebat ; 
* Vestricio add. Muller ex Rice. 

" i.e. the metamorphosis into stars (>caTO(j-T«pi(r/uij) of Orion, 
Perseus, Andromeda, etc. 


BOOK V. xvi.-xvii 

himself, he now contemns, and every other virtue 
gives place to his absorbing parental devotion. You 
will excuse, you will even approve hiin, wlien you 
consider what he has lost. He has lost a daughter 
who resembled him as closely in manners as in 
person, and exactly copied out all her father. 

If you shall think proper to write to him upon the 
subject of so reasonable a grief, let me remind you 
not to use the rougher arguments of consolation, and 
such as seem to carry a sort of reproof with them, 
but those of kind and sympathizing humanity. Time 
will render him more open to such consolations : for 
as a fresh wound shrinks back from the hand of the 
surgeon, but by degrees submits to, and even craves 
for, the means of its cure, so a mind under the first 
impressions of a misfortune shuns and rejects all 
consoling reflections, but at length, if applied with 
tenderness, calmly and willingly acquiesces in them. 


To Vestricius Spurinna 

Knowing, as I do, how much you favour the polite 
arts, and how greatly you rejoice whenever young 
men of quality perform some action worthy of their 
ancestors, I the more speedily inform you that I was to- 
day one of the audience to whom Calpurnius Piso read a 
poem he has composed upon a very bright and learned 
subject, namely, the mythology of the constellations.'^ 
/His numbers, which were elegiac, were soft, flowing, 
and easy, nor wanted even sublimity when the topic 
demanded^ it. His style now rose, now fell, in apt 
accord with the varying theme ; he passed from the 



excelsa depressis, exilia plenis, severis iucunda muta- 
bat, omnia ingenio pari. Commendabat haec voce 
suavissima, vocem verecundia ; multum sanguinis, 
multum sollicitudinis in ore, magna ornamenta reci- 
tantis. Etcnim nescio quo pacto magis in studiis 
homines tinior quam fiducia dccet. 

Ne plura (quamquam libet plura, quo sunt pulchri- 
ora de iuvene, rariora de nobili) recitatione finita 
multum ac diu exosculatus adulescentemj qui est 
acerrimus stimulus monendi, laudibus incitavi, 
pergeret, qua coepisset^ lumenque, quod sibi maiores 
sui praetulissent, posteris ipse praeferret. Gratulatus 
sum optimae matri, gratulatus et fratri, qui ex 
auditorio illo non minorem pietatls gloriam, quam 
ille alter eloquentiae tulit ; tam notabiliter pro 
fratre recitante primum metus eius, mox gaudium 

Di faciant ut talia tibi saepius nuatiem ! Faveo 
enim saeculo, ne sit sterile et effetum, mireque cupio, 
ne nobiles nostri nihil in domibus suis pulchrum nisi 
imagines habeant ; quae nunc mihi hos adulescentes 
tacite laudare, adhortari et, quod aniborum gloriae 
satis magnum est, agnoscere videntur. V^ale. 

BOOK V. xvii 

lofty to the low, from the close to the copious, from 
the grave to the florid, and all with equal ingenuity. 
These beauties were recommended by a most 
harmonious voice, which his modest air rendered 
still more pleasing. His cheeks were flushed, his 
countenance anxious, traits which highly embellish . 
a reciter ; for bashfulness is somehow more becoming 
to people when they engage in literary pursuits, than 
a confident air. 

Not to mention farther details (though I am the 
more inclined to, as they are rather noble in a young 
man, and rather uncommon in a person of quality), 
I will only tell you, that when lie had finished his 
recital, I repeatedly embraced the youth with the 
utmost complacency ; and by warm praise (than 
which nothing lends advice more jiungency) incited 
him to persevere in the path he had entered, 
and reflect that lustre on his descendants which 
his ancestors had imparted to himself. I con- 
gratulated his excellent mother, and his brother, 
who was as much extolled by the assembled company 
for his fraternal affection, as Calpurnius for his 
eloquence ; so striking was his concern during his 
brother's recital, and his joy at its reception. 

May the gods grant me frequent occasions of 
giving you such tidings ! for I have at heart the 
interest of the present generation, and would fain 
see it not sterile and effete. And I ardently wish 
our young men of qu^Htj' may possess other house- 
hold trophies than ancestral images. As for those 
that stand in the house of these excellent youths, I 
now figure them to myself as silently applauding, 
exhorting, and (what is glory enough for the pair) 
owning them to be their kindred. Farewell. 




C. Plinius Calpurnio Macro Suo S. 

Bene est inihi, quia tibi bene est. Habes uxorem 
tecum, habes filium ; frueris mari, fontibus, viri- 
dibus, agro, villa amoenissima. Neque enim dubito 
esse amoenissimam, in qua se composuerat homo 
felicior, ante quam felicissimus fieret. Ego in Tuscis 
et venor et studeo, quae interdum alternis, inter- 
dum simul facio, nee tamen adhuc possum pro- 
nuntiare, utrum sit difficilius capere aliquid, an 
scribere. Vale. 


C. Plinius Valerio ^ Paulino Suo S. 

Video, quam molliter tuos habeas ; quo simplicius 
tibi confitebor, qua indulgentia meos tractem. Est 
fl3ifci"6©B9per in-aaimo etSomei'icum illudTrarTjp B' m- 
^TTios ^ev ^ et hoc nostrum " pater familiae." Quod si 
essem natura asperior et durior, frangeret me tamen 
infirmitas liberti mei Zosimi, cui tanto maior humanitas 
exhibenda est, quanto nunc ilia magis eget. Homo 

' Vai,krio ex liicc. add. Midler. 
* Od. ii. 47, 234. 


BOOK V. xviii.-xix 


To Calpurnius Macer 

All is well with me, since it is so witli you. You 
have, I find, the company of your wife and son ; and 
the enjoyment of the sea, fountains, verdure, tilled 
fields, and a most delightful villa : for I doubt not the 
villa deserves that title, which was the chosen 
retreat of a man who was more happy before he 
attained the summit of happiness. As for myself, I 
am employed at my Tuscan villa in hunting and 
studying, sometimes alternately, and sometimes both 
together ; but I am not yet able to pronounce 
whether game catching or writing is the more 
difficult pursuit. Farewell. 


To Valerius Paulinus 

As I know how mildly 3'ou treat your own servants 
I the more frankly confess to you the indulgence 
I shew to mine. I have ever in my mind that line 
of Homer's : 

" Like to a father's was his gentle sway," 

and that expression in our own language, " fjither of 
a household." But were I naturally of a rough and 
hardened temper, the ill state of health of my freed- 
man Zosimus (who has the stronger claim to humane 
treatment, as he now stands the more in need of it) 
would suffice to soften me. He is honest and well- 



probiis, ofTiciosus, litteratus ; et ars quidem eius et 
quasi inscriptio comoedus, in -qua "phrrimuflT foeit. 
Nam proiiTintiat a<;ritery_sajiientevj- aptCy-^cenfeer 
etiatn ; utilur et cithara perite, ultra quam comoedo 
necesse est. Idem tain commode et orationes et 
historias et earmina legit, ut hoc solum didicisse 

Haec tibi sedulo exposui, quo magis scires, quam 
multa unus mihi et quam iucunda ministeria prae- 
staret. Accedit longa iam caritas hominis, quam 
ipsa pericula auxerunt. ( Est enim ita natura compara- 
tum, ut nihil aeque amorem incjtet et accendat 
quam carendi metus, quem ego pro hoc non semel 
patior. - Nam ante aliquot annos, dum intente in- 
stanterque pronuntiat, sanguinem reiecit atque ob 
hoc in Aegyptum missus a me post longam pere- 
grinationem confirmatus rediit nuper ; deinde (^um 
per continuos dies, nimis imperat vociA veteris in- 
firmitatis tussicula admonitus, rursus sanguinem 

Qua ex causa destinavi eum mittere in praedia 
tua, quae Foro luli possides. Audivi enim te saepe 
referentem esse ibi et aei*a salubrem et lac eiusmodi 
curationibus accommodatissimum, Rogo ergo, scribas 
tuis, ut illi villa, ut domus pateat, offerant etiam 
sumptibus eius si quid opus erit ; erit autem opus 
modico. Est enim tam parens et continens, ut non 


BOOK V. xix 

educated ; but his profession, his certified accomplish- 
ment, one might say, is that of comedian, wherein he 
highly excels.' He speaks with great emphasis, 
judgement, propriety, and some gracefulness ; and also 
plays the lyre more skilfully than a comedian need 
do. To this I must add, he reads history, oratory, 
and poetry, as well as if he had singly applied him- 
self to that art. 

I am particular in enumerating these qualifications 
to let you see how many and agreeable services 
I receive from this one man's hand. He is, besides, 
endeared to me by a long-standing affection, which 
is heightened by his present danger. For nature 
has so formed our hearts, that nothing contributes 
more to raise and inflame our love for any object 
than the aj)prehension of being deprived of it : a 
sentiment which Zosimus has given me occasion to 
experience more than once. For some years ago he 
strained himself so much by too vehement an 
exertion of his voice, that he spit blood, upon which 
account I sent him into Egypt ; from whence, after 
a long absence, he lately returned with great benefit 
to his health. But having again exerted his voice 
for several days together beyond his strength, he 
was reminded of his former malady by a slight return 
of his cough, and a spitting of blood. 

For this reason I intend to send him to your farm 
at Forum Julii, having frequently heard you mention 
it as an exceeding fine air, and recommend the milk 
of that place as veiy good in disorders of this na- 
ture. I beg you would write directions to your 
people to admit him to your grounds and house, and 
to supply him with what he may have occasion for at 
his expense. He will not want much, for he is so 



solum deliciaSj verum etiam necessitates valetudinis 
frugalitate restringat. Ego proficiscenti tantum 
viatici dabo, quantum sufficiat eunti in tua. Vale. 



Iterum Bithyni ! breve tempus a lulio Basso, et 
Rufum Varenum proconsule detulerunt, Varenum, 
quern nuper adversus Bassum advocatum et postula- 
rant et acceperant. Inducti in senatum, inquisitio- 
nem postulaverunt ; tum Varenus petiit,^ ut sibi 
quoque defensionis causa evocare testes liceret ; re- 
cusantibus Bithynis, cognitio suscepta est. 

Egi ego pro Vareno non sine eventu ; nam, bene 
an male, liber indicabit. In actionibus enim utram- 
que in partem fortuna dominatur ; multum commenda- 
tionis et detrahit et affert memoria, vox, gestus, 
tempus ipsum, postremo vel amor vel odium rei ; 
liber oflfensis, liber gratia, liber et secundis casibus et 
adversis caret. Respondit mihi Fonteius Magnus, 
unus ex Bithynis, plurimis verbis, paucissimis rebus. 

* CoRNELio ex Bice, add, Midler, 

* petiit BiponSy K, petit M D pra. 


BOOK V. xix.-xx 

thrifty and temperate as not only to abstain from 
delicacies, but even to deny himself the necessaries 
his ill state of health requires. I shall furnish him 
when he sets out with sufficient journey money to 
take him to your house. Farewell. 



The Bithynians again ! Soon after they had gone 
through with their prosecution of Julius Bassus, they 
also impeached their late Governor, Rufus V'arenus ; 
who was but just before (and that too at their own 
request) appointed counsel for them against Bassus. 
Being introduced into the Senate, they petitioned 
for an inquiry. Varenus, on the other hand, begged 
all proceedings might be stayed till he could send 
for the witnesses necessary to his defence ; but this 
being opposed by the Bithynians, that point was 

I was counsel (and no unsuccessful one) for 
Varenus ; but whether a good one or not, you will 
judge when you read my speech. Fortune has a 
very considerable share in the event of every speech 
in court ; the memory, the voice, the gestures of the 
advocate, even the occasion itself; lastly popular 
sentiment, as it is either fevourable or adverse to the 
accused, all conspire to influence the success. But a 
speech read in the closet, is without fear or favour, 
and has nothing to fear or hope from lucky or un- 
lucky accidents. Fonteius Magnus, one of the 
Bithynians, replied to me with great flow of words, 
and little to the purpose. It is the fault of most 

VOL. I. r f 


Est plerisque Graecorum ut illi pro copia volubilitas ; 
tam longas tamque frigidas periodos uno spiritu 
quasi torrente contorquent. Itaqiie lulius Candidas 
non invenuste solet dicere aliud esse eloquentiam, 
aliud loquentiam. Nam eloquentia vlx uni aut alteri, 
immOj si Marco Antonio credimus, nemini ; haec vero, 
quam Candidus loquentiam appellat, multis atque 
etiam impudentissimo cuique maxime contigit. 

Postero die dixit pro Vareno HomuUus calide, 
acriter, culte ; contra Nigrinus presse, graviter, 
ornate. Censuit Acilius Rufus, consul designatus, 
inquisitionem Bithynis dandam, postulationem Va- 
reni silentio praeteriit. Haec forma negandi fuit. 
Cornelius Priscus consularis et accusatoribus, quae 
petebant, et reo tribuit vicitque numero. Impetravi- 
mus rem nee lege comprehensam nee satis usitatam 
iustam tamen. Quare iustam, non sum epistula 
exsecuturus, ut desideres actionem. Nam, si verum 
est Homericum illud : 

T'^v yap aoihrjv fiaXXov eTrt/cXti'ovcr avOptoiroi, 
^ Tis a.K0v6vT€(T<TL vewTciTi; afJL(fiLTriXr]Tai,^ 
providendum est mihi, ne gratiam novitatis et florem, 
quae oratiunculam illam vel maxime commendat, 
epistulae loquacitate praecergam. Vale. 

* Od. i. 351. 



Greek orators, as well as of himself, that they 
mistake volubility for copiousness, and thus over- 
whelm you with an endless torrent of cold and 
unaffecting periods. Julius Candidus used, rather 
neatly, to say, that " eloquence is one thing and 
loquacity another." Eloquence indeed is the 
privilege of very few ; nay, if we will believe Marcus 
Antonius* of none : but that faculty which Candidus 
calls loquacity, is common to numbers, and generally 
possessed to perfection by the most impudent. 

The next day Homullus spoke for Varenus with 
great art, strength, and elegance ; to whom Nigrinus 
made a very close, solid, and graceful reply. Acilius 
Rufus, the consul-elect, moved that the Bithynians 
should be granted an inquiry ; but he took no notice 
of the petition of Varenus ; which was only another 
way of negativing it. Cornelius Priscus, a consular, 
proposed to grant both petitions, and his motion was 
carried by a majority. Thus we gained a concession 
not warranted by either law or precedent, but none 
the less equitable. But why equitable, I will not 
expound in this letter, that you may with more 
impatience turn to my speech. For if it is true, as 
Homer sings, that 

"... Novel lays attract our ravish'd ears ; 
But old, the mind with inattention hears : " 

I must not suffer the loquacity of my letter to 
desggil ray speech of its principal flower, by robbing 
ilT of that novelty which is indeed its chief 
recommendation. Farewell. 

i^The famous orator. He iloiirlahed just before Cicero, 
wEo calla him the moat eloqueut speaker he ever heard. 

F 2 



C. Plinius Pompeio^ Saturnino Suo S. 

Vaiiie me adfecerunt litterae tuae ; nam partim 
laeta, partim tristia continebant, laeta, quod te in 
urbe teneri nuntiabant('nollem/ inquis ; sed ego volo) 
praeterea quod recitaturum, statim ut venissem, 
pollicebaiitur. Ago gratias, quod exspector. Triste 
illud, quod lulius Valens graviter iacet ; quamquam 
ne hoe quidem triste, si illius utilitatibus aestimetui-j 
cuius interest quam maturissime inexplicabili niorbo 
liberari. Illud plane non triste solum, verum etiam 
luctuosum, quod lulius Avitus decessit, duni ex 
quaestura redit, decessit in nave, procul a fratre 
amantissimo, procul a matre, a sororibus. Nihil 
ista ad mortuum pertinent, sed pertinuerunt cum 
moreretur, pertinent ad hos, qui supersunt, iam, 
quod in flore primo tantae indolis iuvenis ex- 
stinctus est summa consecuturus, si virtu tes eius 

Quo ille studiorum amore flagrabat ' quantum 
legit ! quantum etiam scripsit ! quae nunc omnia 

» PoupKio add. Midler ex Rice. 

BOOK V. xxi 


To PoMPEius Saturninus 

Your letter affected me diversely, as it contained 
matter both for joy and sorrow. It rejoiced me by 
announcing that you are detained in Rome (" against 
my will," I hear you say ; not against mine, however), 
and again by promising that you will give your 
recital as soon as I arrive, and I return you my best 
thanks for postponing it on my account. But it 
grieved me by reporting the dangerous state of 
Julius Valens ; though indeed one cannot grieve at 
that if one regards it with reference to his own 
good, since the sooner he is released from an 
incurable disease, the better for him. But what you 
•add concerning Avitus, that he died in his return 
from the province where he had been Quaestor, is 
news, not only sad, but deplorable. That he died on 
board ship, at a distance from his fondly attached 
brother, and from his mother and sisters, are circum- 
stances which though they cannot affect him now he 
is no more, yet undoubtedly did so in his last 
moments, and still affect those he has left behind. 
It adds poignancy to our grief that a young man of 
his shining talents should be cut off in his early 
prime, and snatched from those high honours to 
which his virtues, had they been permitted to grow 
to their full maturity, would certainly have raised 

How did his bosom glow with the love of learning ! 
How many books did he peruse ! nay, how many did 
he compose ! But his labours are now perished with 



cum ipso sine fructu posteritatis abierunt. Sed quid 
ego indulge© dolori ? cui si frenos remittas, nulla 
materia non maxima est. Finem epistulae faciam, ut 
facere possim etiam lacrimis, quas epistula expressit. 


BOOK V. xxi 

him, and for ever lost to posterity. Yet why indulge 
my sorrow ? A passion which, if we once give a 
loose to it, will aggravate every the slightest circum- 
stance. I will put an end therefore to my letter, 
that I may to the tears which yours has drawn from 
me. Farewell. 




C. Plinius Tironi Suo S. 
QuAMDiu ego trans Padum, tu in Piceno, minus te 
requirebam ; postquam ego in urbe, tu adhue in 
Piceno, multo magis, seu quod ipsa loca, in quibus 
esse una solemus, acrius me tui commonent, seu 
quod desiderium absentium nihil perinde ac vicinitas 
acuity quoque propius accesseris ad spem fruendi, hoc 
impatientius careas. Quidquid in causa, eripe me 
huic tormento ; veni, aut ego illuc, unde inconsulte 
properavi, revertar vel ob hoc solum, ut experiar, an 
mihi, cum sine me Romae coeperis esse, similes his 
epistulas mittas. Vale. 


C. Plinius Arriano Suo S. 
SoLEo non numquam in iudiciis quaerere Marcum 
Regulum ; nolo enim dicere desiderare. Cur ergo 
quaero ? Habebat studiis honorem, timebat, pallebat, 


To Tiro 

I WAS less sensible of your absence wJiile you 
were in the country of the Pieeni^ and I on the 
other side the Po, than 1 find myself now that I am 
returned to Rome. Whether it be that the scene, 
where we used to associate, itself excites a more 
passionate remembrance of you ; or that we never 
miss absent friends so keenly as when they are only 
a short way off, (our desires for a favourite object 
rising in proportion to our nearer approach towards 
it,) I know not. But whatever the cause may be, 
put an end to the torment it gives me, I entreat you, 
by hastening hither : otherwise I shall return again 
into the country (whence I unadvisedly hurried), 
merely to learn by experiment whether, when you 
have tried doing without me at Rome, you will send 
a letter like this. Farewell. 


To Arrianus 

I WILL not say I regret the loss of Regulus, but I 
confess, I sometimes miss him at the bar. The man, 
it must be owned, had a reverence for his profession ; 
he would grow anxious and pale over his causes, and 



scribebatj qiiamvis non posset dediscere. Illud 
ipsum, quod oculum modo dextnim, modo sinistruni 
circumlinebatj dextrum, si a j)etitore, alteruin, si a 
possessore esset acturus ; quod candidum splenium in 
hoc aut in illud supercilium transferebat ; quod 
semper liaruspices consulebat de actionis eventu, 
anili superstitione ; sed tamen et a magno studiorum 
honore veniebat. , lam ilia perquam iucunda una 
dicentibus, quod libera tempora petebat, quod audi- 
turos corrogabat. Quid enim iucundius quam sub 
alterius invidia^ quamdiu veils, et in alieno auditorio 
quasi deprehensum commode dicere ? 

Sed utcunque se habent ista, bene fecit Regulus, 
quod est mortuus, melius, si ante. Nunc enim sane 
poterat sine malo publico vivere sub eo principe, sub 
quo nocere non poterat. Ideo fas est non numquam 
eum quaerere. Nam postquam obiit ille, increbuit 
passim et invaluit consuetudo binas vel singulas 
clepsydras, interdum etiam dimidias et dandi et 
petendi. Nam, et qui dicunt, egisse nialunt quam 
agere, et qui audiunt, finire quam iudicare. Tanta 
neglegentia, tanta desidia, tanta denique irreverentia 
studiorum periculorumque est. An nos sapientiores 
maioribus nostris, nos legibus ipsis iustiores, quae tot 

" This silly piece of superstition seems to have beeu pecu- 
liar to Regulus, (Melm. ) 


BOOK VI. ii 

used to prepare his speeches in writing, though he 
could not commit them to memory. Even his trick 
of painting his right or left eye,'' and wearing a 
white patch over one side or the other of his fore- 
head, as he was counsel either for the plaintiff or 
defendant ; even his custom of always cons'uTtlng the 
soothsayers upon the event of every, plea through the 
effect of immoderate superstition, arose also from his 
veneration for eloquence. And what made it ex- 
tremely pleasant to appear in the same cause with 
him, he always claimed unrestricted time, and never 
failed to procure an audience. For what can be 
pleasanter than to speak as long as you choose, 
knowing that the other side will bear the blame 
of your prolixity; and moreover to speak excellently, 
as if taken unawares, before an audience collected 
to hear not you, but another. 

But for all that, Regulus did well to die, though 
he would have done still better had he died sooner ; 
since he might now be alive without any danger to 
the public in the reign of a prince under whom he 
could do no mischief. I need not scruple therefore 
to say I sometimes miss him : for since his death, the 
custom has gs'own widely prevalent of not allowing, nor 
indeed asking, more than an hour or two to plead in, 
and sometimes not half that time. The truth 
is, our advocates are better pleased to have got 
through a cause, than to be engaged in it ; and 
our judges are more bent on concluding, than on 
deciding it. Such is their negligence, their sloth, 
nay, disrespect for both the profession and the grave 
issues of the Law. But are we wiser than our 
ancestors ? are we more equitable than the laws 
themselves, which grant so many hours and days, 



lioras, tot dies, tot comperendinationes largiuntur ? 
hebetes illi et supra moduni tardi, nos apertius 
dicimuSj celerius intcUegimus, religiosiiis iudicamus, 
quia paucioribus clepsydris praecipitamus causas, 
quain diebus explicari solebant? O Regule, qui 
ambitione ab omnibus obtinebas, quod fidei paucissimi 
praestant ! 

<* Equidem quoties iudico, quod vel saepius facio, 
(|uam dico, quantum quis plurimum postulat aquae, 
do. Etenim temerarium existimo divinare, quam 
spatiosa sit causa inaudita, tempusque negotio finire, 
cuius modum ignores, praesertim cum primam 
religioni suae iudex patientiam debeat, quae pars 
magna iustitiae est. At quaedam supervacua 
dicuntur. Etiani ; sed satius est et haec dici, quam 
non dici necessaria. Praeterea, an sint supervacua, 
nisi cum audieris, scire non possis. Sed de his 
melius coram ut de pluribus vitiis civitatis. Nam tu 
quoque amore communium ^ soles emendari eupere, 
quae iam corrigere difficile est. 

Nunc respiciamus domos nostras. Ecquid omnia 
in tua recte ? in mea novi nihil. Mihi autem et 
gratiora sunt bona, quod perseverant ; et leviora 
incommoda, quod assuevi. Vale. 

' amore communium M,K, Mailer {cum cruce), communi 
omnium coni. Mo/nmsen, communium morum, Oierig. 


BOOK VI. ii 

and adjournments to a cause ? Were our forefathers 
stupid, and dull beyond measure ? And are we more 
clear in speech, more quick in our apprehension, or 
more scrupulous in our decisions, because we hurry 
over our causes in fewer hours than they took days 
to unravel them ? To think, O Regulus, that no 
jury could refuse to thy self-aggrandisement, what 
very few now concede to professional honour ! "• 

As for myself whenever I serve as juror (which is 
oftener than I appear at the bar) I always give the 
advocates as much time^ as ever they ask. For I look 
upon it as highly presuming to divine before a cause is 
heard what time it will require, and to set limits to an 
affair before one is acquainted with its extent ; 
especially as the first and most sacred duty of a juror is 
patience, which is a very considerable part of justice. 
But, it is objected, advocates say much that is 
superfluous. Granted : but better so, than that they 
should leave unsaid what is necessary. Besides, you 
cannot tell whether an argument be superfluous till 
you have heard it. But this, and many other public 
abuses, will be better discussed face to face. For 
like myself, as a lover of the commonwealth, you are 
always desirous of reforms, even where they have 
now become difficult. 

But to turn to our domestic concerns ; I hope all 
goes well in your home ; everything is as usual in 
mine. The good which I enjoy grows more accept- 
able to me by its continuance ; as habit renders me 
less sensible of my discomforts. Farewell. 

"fides is here the duty of an advocate to his client, which 
might oblige him to ask a liberal time-allowance. 
' Literally " water," i.e. of the clepsydra. 




C. Plinius Vero Suo S. 
GiiATiAS ago, quod agelkim, quern nutrici meae 
donaveram, colendum suscepisti. Erat, cum dona- 
reni, centum milium nummum, postea, decrescente 
reditu etiam pretium minuit, quod nunc te curante 
reparabit. Tu modo memineris commendari tibi a 
me non arbores et terram, quainquam haec quoque, 
sed munusculum meum ; quod esse quam fructuo- 
sissimum non illius magis interest, quae accepit, 
quam mea, qui dedi. Vale. 



C. Plinjus Calpurniak Suae S. 

NuMQUAM sum magis de occupationibus meis 
questus, quae me non sunt passae aut proficiscentem 
te valetudinis causa in Campaniam prosequi, aut pro- 
fectam e vestigio subsequi. Nunc enim praecipue 
simul esse cupiebam, ut oculis meis crederem, quid 
viribus, quid corpusculo apparares, ecquid denique 
secessus voluptates regionisque abundantiam inoffensa 
transmitteres. Equidem etiam fortem te non sine 
cura desiderarem ; est enim suspensum et anxium de 
eo, quem ai'dentissime diligas, interdum nihil scire ; 

BOOK VI. iii.-iv 

To Verus 

I AM much obliged to you for undertaking the care 
of that little farm I gave to my nurse. It was worth, 
when I made her a present of it, an hundred thousand 
sesterces, but the returns having since diminished, 
it has sunk in its value : however, that will rise again, 
I doubt not, under your management. But, remember, 
wliat I recommend to your attention is not the 
fruit-trees and the land (which yet I by no means 
except), but my little benefaction ; for it is not more 
the good woman's concern as a recipient, than mine 
as the donor, that it should be as profitable as possible. 


To Calpurnia, His Wife 

I NEVER complained more of my business than 
when it prevented me not only from escorting you 
on your journey, but following you at once, when 
ill health took you into Campania. For at this time 
especially I wished to be with you, so as to see for 
myself what improvement there is in your strength 
and that dear little person of yours,^ and whether the 
amusements of that retreat, and the plenty of that 
district agree with you. .. Were you in sound health, 
yet I could not feel easy in your absence ; for there 
is harassing suspense in being every now and then 
wholly ignorant of what is liappening to a most 
dearly loved one ; but now your sickness conspires 



nunc vero me cum absentiae turn infirmitatis tuae 
ratio incerta et varia soUicitudine exterret. Vereor 
omnia, imaginor omnia, quaeque natura metuentium 
est, ea maxime mihi, quae maxima abominor, fingo. 
Quo impensius rogo, ut timori meo quotidie singulis 
vel etiam binis epistulis consulas. Ero enim securior, 
dum lego, statimque timebo, cum legero. Vale. 

C. PuNius Urso Suo S. 

ScRiPSERAM tenuisse Varenuni, ut sibi evocare 
testes liceret ; quod pluribus aequum, quibusdam 
iniquum et quidem pertinaciter visum, maxime 
Licinio Nepoti, qui sequenti senatu, cum de rebus 
aliis referretur, de proximo senatus consulto disseruit 
finitamque causam retractavit. Addidit etiam peten- 
dum a consulibus, ut referrent sub exemplo legis 
ambitus de lege repetundarum, an placeret in 
futurum ad eam legem adici, ut, sicut accusatoribus 
inquirendi testibusque denuntiandi potestas ex ea 
lege esset, ita reis quoque fieret. 

Fuerunt, quibus haec eius oratio ut sera et in- 
tempestiva et praepostera displiceret, quae omisso 

» V. 20. 

BOOK VI. iv.-v 

with your absence to affright me with a thousand 
vague disquietudes. I fear and imagine every 
possible calamity and, as is the way of frightened 
people, my fancy paints most vividly just those that 
I most earnestly implore Heaven to avert. Let me 
conjure you then to pay regard to my anxiety by 
writing to me every day, and even twice a day. I 
shall be more easy, at least while I am reading your 
letters ; and all my fears will return the moment I 
have perused them. Farewell. 

To Ursus 

I ACQUAINTED you in a former letter," that Varenus 
obtained leave to summon his witnesses. This was 
judged equitable by the majority (of the Senate) 
though some maintained even pertinaciously that it 
was the reverse : particularly Licinius Nepos, who at 
the next session of the Senate, when other business 
was before the house, spoke on their last decree and 
re-opened a case that had been decided. And he 
went on to propose that the consuls be desired to 
take the sense of the house upon the question 
whether following the precedent afforded by the law 
concerning bribery and corruption, a clause should 
be added to the law concerning extortion, granting 
defendants the same right to seek evidence and 
summon witnesses as plaintiffs enjoyed under that 

Some heard this speech with displeasure, regarding 
it as too late, ill-timed and out of place ; Nepos they 
said, had let slip the proper occasion of opposing 



contradicendi tempore castigaret peractum, cui 
potuisset occurrere. luventius quidem Celsus 
praetor tamquam emendatorem senatus et multis et 
veheiuenter increpuit. Uespondit Nepos rursusque 
Celsus ; neuter contumeliis temperavit. Nolo 
referre, quae dici ab ipsis moleste tuli. Quo magis 
quosdam e numero nostro improbavi^ qui mode ad 
Celsum, modo ad Nepotein, prout hie vel ille diceret, 
cupiditate audiendi cursitabant et nunc, quasi stimu- 
larent et accenderent, nunc, quasi reconciliarent 
componerentque,^ frequentius singulis, ambobus 
interdum propitium Caesarem ut in ludicro aliquo 

Mihi quidem illud etiam peracerbum fuit, quod 
sunt alter alteri, quid pararent, indicati. Nam et 
Celsus Nepoti ex libello respondit et Celso Nepos ex 
pugillavibus. Tanta loquacitas amicorum, ut homines 
iurgaturi id ipsum invicem scirent,^ tamquam 
convenissent. Vale. 


C. Plinius Fundano Suo S. 

Si quandoj nunc pi*aecipue cuperem esse te Romae, 

et sis rogo. Opus est mihi voti, laboris, sollicitudinis 

socio. Petit honores lulius Naso, petit cum multis, 

^ reconc. componerentque Dpra, Bipons, Olto, reconc. ac 
recomponerent K. ^ scirent Dpa, Bipons, Otto, soierint K. 


BOOK VI. v.-vi 

the decree, and castigated a decision after it was 
made, which he might have ni])ped in the bud. 
JuvenrfTiis CeTsus, the Praetor, reproaclied him 
warmly and at length with setting up for a reformer 
of the Senate. Nepos replied ; Celsus spoke again; 
and neither was sparing of abuse. I forbear to 
repeat what I could not hear from their own lips 
without annoyance. So much the more I disapprove 
the conduct of certain Senators who ran, now to 
Nepos, now to Celsus, as one or the other was 
speaking, gi-eedy to hear their mutual invectives ; 
and as if now stimulating and inflaming tlie com- 
batants, and then again reconciling and appeasing 
them, kept begging the Emperor to favour one or 
the other, and occasionally both, just as they might 
do at some public show. 

To me, at least, it was also most bitter to observe 
that each party had been informed of what the other 
intended to allege ; for Celsus replied to Nepos out 
of a paper, as Nepos did to Celsus out of a note-book, 
which each held in his hand. Thanks to the chatter 
of their friends, each knew exactly how the other 
would abuse him, just as if they had previously 
agreed to quarrel. Farewell. 



I NEVER wished to see you in Rome more than I 
do at this time, and I entreat you therefore to come 
hither ; for I need a partner in my prayers, toils, and 
solicitude. Julius Naso is a candidate for office : his 
competitors are numerous and worthy, so that to 



cum bonis, quos ut gloriosum sic est difficile superare. 
Pendeo ergo, et exerccor spa, adficior metu at me 
consularem esse non sentio ; nam rursus mihi vidaor 
omnium, quae decurri, candidatus. Meretur banc 
curam longa mei caritate. Est mihi cum illo non 
sane paterna amicitia (neque enim esse potuit par 
meam aatatem), solebat taman vixdum adulescentulo 
mihi patar aius cum magna laude monstrari. 

Erat non studiorum tantum, varum atiam studio- 
sorum amantissimus ac prope cotidie ad audiendos, 
quos tunc ego frequentabam, Quintilianum et Niceten 
Sacerdotem ventitabat, vir alioqui clarus et gravis, et 
qui prodesse filio memoria sui debeat. Sed multi 
nunc in senatu, quibus ignotus ille ; multi, quibus 
notus, sed non nisi viventes reverentur. Quo magis 
liuic omissa gloria patris, in qua magnum ornamen- 
tum, gratia infirma, ipsi enitendum, ipsi laborandum 

Quod quidem semper, quasi provideret hoc tempus, 
sedulo fecit ; paravit amicos, quos paraverat, coluit, 
me certe, ut primum sibi iudicare permisit, ad 
amorem imitationemque dalegit. Dicenti mihi sol- 
licitus adsistit, adsidet recitanti ; , primus ^ etiam et 
cum maxime nascentibus opusculis meis interest 
nunc solus, ante cum fratre, cuius nuper amissi ago 

^ primus Dpra, Bipons, Miiller, primis M,K. 

BOOK VI. vi 

overcome them is no less difficult than glorious. I 
am distracted by suspense, and so great is my 
anxiety that I forget I have passed the consulship, 
and fancy I am to stand over again for all the offices 
I have held. This concern is justly due to Naso, in 
return for his long affection to me. Our friendship 
is not, it is true, hereditary, for I was too much his 
father's junior to admit of any intimacy between us ; 
yet from my earliest youth I was taught to look upon 
him with veneration. 

He was a devoted admirer not only of oratory, but 
of those who cultivated it ; and went almost daily to 
the lectures of Quintilian and Nicetes, which I was 
then attending. He was, in short, a man of worth 
and eminence, and one whose memory ought to 
facilitate the career of his son. But there are 
numbers now in the Senate who never knew that 
excellent person ; and though there are many also 
who did, yet they are such whose regards extend not 
beyond the living. So that Nepos must not rely 
upon his father's fame (which though it handsomely 
adorns, can but feebly recommend him), but solely on 
his own strenuous exertions. 

In those, indeed, he has ever been as unremitting 
as if he had foreseen the present contingency. He 
has acquired friends and cultivated their friendship, 
and particularly singled me out as the object of his 
esteem and imitation, the moment he began to judge 
for himself. Whenever I plead in court, whenever I 
give a recital, he is sedulous to attend ; as he ever 
shows the first and liveliest interest v/hen some little 
work of mine sees the light. His brother showed 
the same attachment to me. But he has lost that 
excellent brother ! and it shall be my part to supply 



suscipere partes, ego vicem debeo implere. Doleo 
enim et ilium immatura morte indignissime raptum 
et hunc optimi fratris adiumento destitutum solisque 
amicis relictum. 

Quibus ex causis exigo, ut venias et suflTragio nieo 
tuum iungas. Permultum interest mea te ostentare, 
tecum circumire. Ea est auctoritas tua, ut putem me 
efficacius tecum etiam meos amicos rogaturum. 
Abrumpe, si qua te retinent ; hoc tempus meum, hoc 
fides, hoc etiam dignitas postulat, Suscepi candi- 
datum, et suscepisse me notum est ; ego ambio, ego 
periclitor ; in summam_, si datur Nasoni, quod petit, 
illius honor, si negatur, mea repulsa est. Vale. 


C. Plinius Calpurniae Suae S. 

ScRiBis te absentia mea non mediocriter adfici 
unumque habere solacium, quod pro me libellos meos 
teneas, saepe etiam in vestigio meo colloces. Gratum 
est, quod nos requiris, quod his fomentis adquiescis. 
Invicem ego epistulas tuas lectito atque identidem in 
manus quasi novas sumo ; sed eo magis ad desiderium 

BOOK VI. vi.-vii 

his place. It is with grief I reflect upon the imma- 
ture death of the one, as I lament that the other 
should be deprived of the assistance of so valuable a 
relation, and left only to the zeal of his fi'iends. 

It is on these grounds I make a point of your 
coming hither and uniting your support with mine. 
It will be much to my advantage to exhibit you as 
assisting me, and canvass in your company : for such 
is your credit and influence, that I am persuaded your 
presence will render my applications more effectual 
even with my own friends. Let me entreat you 
then to break through all obstacles that may lie in your 
way ; my situation, my loyalty and my credit, all 
require it. I have undertaken to support the 
interest of Naso, and the world knows that I do ; 
the pursuit and the hazard therefore is become my 
own. In a word, if he obtains this post, the honour 
will be his ; but if he be rejected, the repulse will be 
mine. Farewell. 


To Calpurnia 

You tell me, my absence is greatly uneasy to you, 
and that your only consolation is in conversing with 
my works, instead of their author, to which 3'ou 
frequently even give my own place by your side. 
How agreeable is it to me to know that you thus 
wish for my company, and support yourself under 
the want of it by these tender amusements ! In 
return, I read over your letters again and again, and 
am continually taking them up as if I had just 
received them ; but alas ! they only serve to make 



tui accendor. NanOj cuius litterae tantum habent 
suavitatis, huius serraonibus quantum dulcedinis inest ! 
Tu tamen frequentissime scribe, licet hoc ita me 
delectet, ut torqueat. Vale. 


C. Plinius Prisco Suo S. 

Atilium Crescentem et nosti et amas. Quis enim 
ilium spectatior paulo aut non novit aut non amat ? 
Hunc ego non ut multi, sed artissime diligo. Oppida 
nostra unius diei itinere dirimuntur ; ipsi amare 
invicem, qui est flagrantissimus amor, adulescentuli 
coepimus. Mansit hie postea nee refrixit iudicio, sed 
invaluit. Sciunt, qui alterutrum nostrum familiarius 
intuentur. Nam et ille amicitiam meam latissima 
praedicatione circumfert, et ego prae me fero, quam 
sit mihi curae modestia, quies, securitas eius. 
Quin etiam, cum insolentiam cuiusdam tribunatum 
plebis inituri vereretur idque indicasset mihi, re- 
spondi : 

Quorsus haec? ut scias non posse Atilium me 
incolumi iniuriam accipere. Iterum dices : " Quor- 
sus haec ? " Debuit ei pecuniam Valerius Varus. 
1 Horn. II. i. 88. 

458 , B, 

BOOK VI. vii.-viii 

me more strongly regret your absence : for how 
amiable must her conversation be, whose letters have 
so many charms ? Let me receive them, however, as 
often as possible, notwithstanding there is still a 
mixture of pain in the pleasure they afford me. 


To Priscus 

You know and esteem Atilius Crescens ; as indeed 
what person of any distinction does not ? My own 
attachment to him is much closer than the common 
run of his numerous friendships. Our native towns are 
separated only by a day's journey ; and we became 
friends in early youth, a season when friendship is 
most ardent. Ours survived that period ; and so far 
from being weakened, was confirmed by our riper 
judgements, as those who know us best can witness. 
For he takes pleasure in boasting every where of my 
friendship ; as I do to let the world know that his 
honour, ease, and safety are my peculiar concern. 
Insomuch that upon his expressing to me some 
apprehension from the insolence of a certain person 
who was entering upon the tribuneship of the 
people, I could not forbear answering, 

" Long as Achilles breathes this vital air, 
To touch thy head no impious hand shall dare." 

" Whither tends all this ? " you say. To shew you 
that I look upon every injury offered to Atilius as 
done to myself But again you will ask my drift. 
You must know, then, Valerius Varus at his death, 



Huius est heres Maximus noster, queni et ipse amo, 
seel coniunctius tu. Rogo ergo, exigo etiani pro iure 
amicitiae, cures, ut Atilio meo salva sit iion sors 
mode, verum etiam usura plurium annoruin. Homo 
est alicni abslinentissimiss, sui diligens, nullis quaesti- 
bus sustinetur, nullus illi nisi ex frugalitate reditus. 
Nam studia, (niibus plurimum praestat, ad voluptatem 
tantum et gloriam exercet. Gravis est ei vel minima 
iactura, quia reparare, quod amiserit,^ gravius est. 
Exime hunc illi, exime liunc mihi scrupulum ; sine 
me suavitate eius, sine leporibus pcrfrui. Neque 
enim possum tristem videre, cuius ])ilaritas me tristeni 
esse non patitur. 

In sumnia nosti facetias hominis ; quas velim 
attendas ne in bilem et amaritudinem vertat iniuria. 
Quam vim habeat ofFensus, crede ei, quam in amore 
habet. Non feret magnum et liberum ingenium 
cum contumelia damnum. Verum, ut ferat ille, ego 
meum damnum, meam contumeliam vindicabo ; sed 
non tamquam pro mea, hoc est, gravius, irascar. 
Quamquam quid denuntiationibus et quasi minis ago ? 
Quin potius, ut coeperam, rogo, oro, des operam, 
ne ille se, quod validissime vereor, a me, ego me 

* amiserit Dpr, amiseris Ma. 

BOOK VI. viii 

owed Atilius a sum of money. Though I am on good 
terms with Maximus, his heir, yet there is a closer 
regard between him and you. I ask tlierefore, nay, 
demand in Friendship's name, that you will take 
care my dear Atilius gets back not only the principal 
of his loan, but several years' arrears of interest. 
He neither covets the property of others, nor 
neglects the care of his own ; and as he is not 
engaged in any lucrative pi'ofession, he has nothing 
to depend upon but his frugality ; for as to oratory, 
in which he greatly excels, he pursues it merely upon 
the motives of pleasure and fame. In such a 
situation the slightestloas. presses hard upon a man, 
since he cannot easily repair it. Relieve us both, 
then, I entreat you, of this difficulty, and suffer me 
still to enjoy his amiable and diverting conversation ; 
for I cannot bear to see that gaiety of his over- 
clouded, which dissipates every gloom of melancholy 
in myself. 

In a woi'd, as you are well acquainted with Atilius' 
sportive temper, I hope you will look- to it that no 
injury shall discompose and sour it. You may judge 
by the warmth of his affection how bitter his re- 
sentments would prove ; for a generous and great 
mind can ill brook a loss when it is joined with an 
affront. But though he should pass it over, I shall 
avenge it as my own loss, and an affront offered to 
myself; as for resenting it, however, that I shall do 
as if another were the injured party; that is, with 
double warmth. But, after all, why this air of 
threatening ? rather let me end in the same style 
I began, by earnestly conjuring you to use your 
endeavours, that neither Atilius may think me re- 
miss towards him (which I strongly deprecate), nor I 



neglectum a te putem. Dabis autem, si hoc perinde 
curae est tibi quam illud mihi. Vale. 


C. Plinius Tacito Suo S. 

CoMMENDAS mihi luHum Nasonem caiididatum. 
Nasonem mihi ? quid si me ipsum ? Fero tamen et 
ignosco. Eundem enim commendassem tibi, si te 
Romae morante ipse afuissem. Habet hoc soUici- 
tudo, quod omnia necessaria putat. Tu tamen censeo 
alios roges ; ego precum tuarum minister, adiutor, 
particeps ero. Vale. 


C. Plinius Albino Suo S. 

Cum venissem in socrus meae villam Alsiensem, quae 
aliquando Rufi Vergini fuit, ipse mihi locus optimi 
illius et maximi viri desiderium non sine dolore 
renovavit. Hunc enim incolei'e secessum atque 
etiam senectutis suae nidulum vocare consueverat. 
Quocunque me contulissem, ilium animus, ilium 
oculi requirebant. Libuit etiam monimentum eius 
videre, et vidisse paenituit. Est enim adhuc im- 
perfectum, nee difficultas operis in causa modici ac 


BOOK VI. viii.-x 

entertain similar thoughts of yourself ; and un- 
doubtedly you will, if your solicitude on the latter 
point equals mine on the former. Farewell. 


To Tacitus 

When you commend to my interest the candida- 
ture of Julius Naso, what is it but commending me 
to myself? However, I forgive you, for I should 
have done the same thing, had you been at Rome 
and I absent. The tender anxiety of friendship is 
apt to imagine every circumstance to be material. 
But I advise you to turn your solicitations to others ; 
my own part shall be deputy, assistant, and associate 
in your canvass. Farewell. 


I WAS lately at Alsiuni;. where my vt^ife's mother 
has a villa which oncelseTonged to Verginius Rufus.* 
The place renewed even painfully my regrets for 
that great and excellent man. He was extremely 
fond of this retreat, and used to call it " the nest of 
his old age." Wherever I turned, my heart, my 
eyes, ached to behold my vanished friend. I even 
had an inclination to view his monument ; but I 
repented the visit, for I found it still unfinished, and 
this not from any difficulty in erecting a work of 
such modest, indeed, small dimensions, but through 
» See ii. 1, ix. 19. 



potius exigui, sed inertia eius, cui cura mandata est. 
Subit indignatio cum miseratione post decimum mortis 
annum reliquias neglectumque cinerem sine titulo, 
sine nomine iaeere, cuius memoria orbem terrarura 
gloria pervagetur. At ille maiidaverat caveratque, ut 
divinum illud et immortale factum versibus inscri- 
beretur : 

Hie situs est Rufus, pulso qui Vindice quondam 
Imperium asseruit non sibi, sed patriae. 

Tam rara in amicitiis fides, tam parata oblivio 
mortuorum, ut ipsi nobis debearaus etiam conditoria 
exstruere omniaque heredum officia pi-aesumere. 
Nam cui non est \erendum, quod videmus accidisse 
Verginio? cuius iniuriam ut indigniorem sic etiam 
notiorem ipsius claritas facit. Vale. 


C. Plinius Maximo Suo S. 

O DIEM laetum ! adhibitus in consilium apraefecto 
urbis audivi ex diverso agerites summae spei, summae 
indolis iuvenes duos, Fuscum Salinatorem et Numi- 
dium Quadratum, egregium par necmodotemporibus 
nosti'is, sed litteris ipsis ornamento futurum. Mira 

<» I.e. the heir of Verginius, who neglected the injunctions 
as to this monument in the latter's will. 

* After the battle in which he defeated Julius Vindex, who 


BOOK VI. x.-xi 

the neglect of him to whose charge it was committed." 
I could not see without a concern mixed with 
indignation, the remains of a man, wliose fame 
filled the whole world, lie for ten years after his 
death without an inscription, or a name. Yet he 
had directed that the divine and imm.ortal action 
of his life should be recorded upon his tomb in the 
following lines : 

" Here Rufus lies, who raised in victory's hour 
His country, not himself, to sovran power."(^ 

But a faithful friend is so rare to be found, and the 
dead are so soon forgotten, that we shall be obliged 
to build even our very tombs, and anticipate every 
office of our heirs. For what man can feel himself 
secure from undergoing the same fate as Verginius, 
whose shining worth makes the wrong to his me- 
mory the more cruel, and the more conspicuous? 


To Maximvs 

How happy a day did I lately pass ! when having 
been called by the Urban Praefect to his advisory 
council, I heard two young men of the highest 
promise and talents, Fuscus Salinator and Numidius 
Quadratus, plead on the opposite sides ; a noble pair 
who will one day prove an ornament not only to the 
present age, but to literature itself. They dis- 

had raised a great revolt in Gallia Lugdunensis, Verginius 
was urged by his soldiers to proclaim himself Emperor, but 
refused (69 a. D.). 

VOL. !. H H 


utrique probitas constantia salva, decorus habitus, os 
Latinum, vox virilis, tenax memoria, magnum in- 
genium, iudicium aequale ; quae singula mihi volup- 
tati fuerunt atque inter haec illud^ quod et ipsi me 
ut rectorem, ut magistrum intuebantur, et iis, qui 
audiebant, me aemulari, meis instare vestigiis vide- 

O diem (repetam enim) laetum notuudunique mihi 
candidissimo calculo ! Quid enim aut publice laetius 
quam clarissimos iuvenes nomen et famam ex studiis 
petere aut mihi optatius quam me ad recta tendenti- 
bus quasi exemplar esse propositum ? Quod gaudium 
ut perpetuo capiam, deos ore ; ab iisdem teste te 
peto, ut omnes, qui me imitari tanti putabunt, 
meliores esse quam me velint. Vale. 


C. PuNius Fabato Prosocero Suo S. 

Tu vero non debes suspensa manu commendare 

mihi, quos tuendos putas. Nam et te deeet multis 

prodesse et me suscipere, quidquid ad curam tuam 

BOOK VI. xi.-xii 

covered upon this occasion an admirable probity, 
supported by inflexible courage : their deportment 
was decent, their language pure Latin, their voice 
manly, their memory strong, their genius elevated, 
and guided by an equal solidity of judgement. I was 
gratified by their display of these several excellencies, 
and, by the incidental circumstance that, while the 
speakers themselves kept their eyes fixed upon me, 
as on their guide and master, the audience con- 
sidered their oratory as emulating and copying my 

It was a day (I cannot but repeat it again) of 
exquisite happiness, which I shall ever distinguish 
with the fairest mark. For what indeed could be 
either more pleasing to me on the public account, 
than to observe two such noble youths building their 
fame and glory upon eloquence ; or more desirable 
upon my own, than to be as it were held up as a 
pattern to them in their pursuit of virtue .'' may the 
gods vouchsafe me lasting enjoyment of that satis- 
faction I And you will bear me witness, I sincerely 
pray, that eveiy man who thinks me deserving of his 
imitation, may far excel the pattern he has chosen. 


To Fabatus, His Wife's Grandfather 

Most certainly you should not be chary of re- 
commending to me such persons as you think 
deserving of patronage ; for extensive beneficence 
is as much your natural part, as mine is to take up 


H H 2 


pertinet. Itaque Vettio Prisco, quantum plurimuui 
potuerOj praestabo, praesertim in arena mea, hoc est 
apud ccntumviros. 

Epistularura^ quas niihi, ut ais, aperto pectore 
scripsisti, oblivisci me iubes. At ego nullarum 
libentius memini. Ex illis cnim vel praecipue sen- 
tiOj quantoopere me diligas, cum sic exegeris mecum, 
ut solebas cum tuo filio. Nee dissimulo hoc mihi 
iucundiores eas fuisse, quod liabebam bonam causani, 
cum summo studio curassem, quod tu curari volebas. 
Proinde etiam atque etiam rogo, ut niilii semper 
eadem simplicitate, quoties cessare videbor (videbor 
dlcOj nunquam enim cessabo), convicium facias, quod 
et ego intellegam a summo amore proficisci, et tu 
non meruisse me gaudeas. Vale. 


C. Pi.iNius Urso Suo S. 

Unquamne vidisti quemquam tam laboriosum et 
exercitum ^ quam Varenum meum ? cui, quod summa 
cont^Stione impetraverat, defendendum et quasi 
rursus petendum fuit. Bithyni senatus consultum 
apud coiisules carpere ac labefactare sunt ausi atque 
etiam absenti principi criminari ; ab illo ad senatum 
remissi non destiterunt. 

^ et exercituni Ma, Bipons, K, tam exerc. Dr, Miiller. 

BOOK VI. xii.-xiii 

every cause you have at heart. Be assured there- 
fore I shall give all the assistance in my power to 
Vettius Priscus, especially in my peculiar field of 
action — 1 mean the Centumviral Court. 

You bid me forget those letters which you wrote 
to me, you say, in the openness of your heart ; but, 
believe me, there are none I remember with more 
complacency. They are to me the strongest proofs 
of your affection, since you call me to account, just 
as you used to call your own son. And, to confess the 
truth, they are so much the more agreeable, as I 
could inake out a good case in reply ; for I had very 
exactly performed your requests. I entreat you 
again and again still to reproach me with the same 
freedom, whenever I seem to fail (seem, I say, for 
fail I never will) in my duty towards you. I shall 
understand that the truest love inspires your re- 
proaches ; and you, I hope, may rejoice to find I did 
not deserve them. Farewell. 


To Uitsus 

Did you ever behold a man so tried and harassed 
as my friend Varenus, who has been obliged to 
defend, and, as it were, to seek again, what lie had 
v.ith much struggle already obtained .'' "• The 
Bithynians have had the assurance not only to cavil 
at and impugn the decree of the Senate before the 
consuls, but also to inveigh against it to the Emperor, 
who had been absent when it passed. Caesar 
referred them back to the Senate, where they still 
persisted in their course. 

" See V. 20. 



Egit Claudius Capito irreverenter magis quam 
constanter, ut qui ipsum senatus consultum apud 
senatuni accusaret. Respondit Catius Fronto graviter 
et firme. Senatus ipse mirificus ; nam illi quoque, 
qui prius negarant Vareno, quae petebat, eadem 
danda, postquam erant data, censuerunt ; singulos 
enim integra re dissentire fas esse, peracta, quod 
pluribus placuisset, cunctis tuendum. Acilius tan- 
tum Rufus et cum eo septem an octo, septem immo, 
in piiore sententia perseverarunt. Erant in hac pau- 
citate non nulli, quorum temporaria gravitas vel potius 
gravitatis imitatio ridebatur. Tu tamen aestima, 
quantum nos in ipsa pugna certaminis maneat, cuius 
quasi praelusio atque praecursio contentiones 
excitavit. V^ale. 


C. Plinius Mauricio Suo S. 

SoLLiciTAS me in Formianum. Veniam ea condi- 

cione, ne quid contra commodum tuum facias ; qua 

pactione invicem mihi caveo. Neque enim mare et 

litus, sed otium et libertatem* sequor ; alioqui satius 

est in urbe remanere. Oportet enim omnia aut ad 

1 otium et lib. p, Sichardua, Miilhr, te, otium, lib. Ma, K, 
te otium et lib. Dr. 


BOOK VI. xiii.-xiv 

Claudius Capito acted as their counsel ; thereby 
displaying ill-manners rather than intrepidity, since 
he arraigned before the Senate one of their own 
decrees. Catius Fronto replied to him with great 
solidity and spirit ; the Senate itself behaved to 
admiration. For even those who had opposed the 
petition of Vai'enus in the first instance were in 
favour of granting it, now that it had been granted. 
They agreed that while the motion was under 
debate, individual members were at liberty to express 
dissent ; but when once carried, the whole house was 
bound to support the decision of the majority. 
Acilius Rufus and seven or eight others (I think 
seven at the outside) were the only senators who 
persevered in their former vote. Among which 
small party there were some whose improvised, or, 
rather, counterfeit solemnity, was extremely 
ridiculed. You will judge from hence what a warm 
battle we are likely to liave of it, since this prelude 
and skirmish, as I may call it, has occasioned so much 
contention. Farewell. 


To Mauricius 

I ACCEPT your invitation to visit you at your 
Formian villa, but it is upon condition that you put 
yourself to no inconvenience ; a compact which I 
shall also strictly observe on my part. It is not tlie 
beauties of your sea and your coast, it is ease and free- 
dom that I aim to enjoy ; otherwise I might as well re- 
main in Rome. For there is no middle course 



alienum arbitriuin aut ad suum facere. Mei certe 
stomachi haec natura est, ut nihil nisi totiim et 
merum vclit. Vale. 


C. Plinius Romano Suo S. 

MiniFicAE rei non interfuisti, ne ego quidem ; 
sed me recens fabula excepit. Passennus Paulas, 
splendidus eques Romanus et inprimis eruditus, 
scribit elegos. Gentilicium hoc illi ; est enim mu- 
niceps Propertii. atque etiam inter maiores suos 
Propertium numerat. Is cum recitaret, ita coepit 
dicere, " Prisce, iubes." Ad hoc lavolenus Priscus 
(aderat enim ut Paullo amicissimus) : " Ego vero 
non iubeo." Cogita, qui risus hominum, qui ioci. 
Est omnino Priscus dubiae sanitatis, interest tamen 
officiis, adhibetur consiliis atque etiam ius civile 
publice respondet. Quo magis, quod tunc fecit, et 
ridiculum et notabile fuit. 

Interim Paullo aliena deliratio aliquantum frigoris 
attulit. Tam sollicite recitaturis providendum est, 
non solum ut sint ipsi sani, verum etiam ut sanos 
adhibeant. Vale. 

<* The force of excepit might be colloquially rendered by 
"button-holed." Pliny means that every one he met told 
him the new anecdote 

* As Priscus was a jurist of great eminence, his alleged 
"craziness" was probably nothing more than absent- 
mindedness. Thus, roused from a reverie bj' hearing liis own 
name, he makes a ludicrous reply. (Church and Brodribb.) 


BOOK VI. xiv.-xv 

betv.een being absolutely at the disposal of others, 
and absolutely your own master ; my own palate, at 
least, cannot relish mixtures of any kind. Farewell. 



You were not present at a very droll accident 
which lately happened : neither was I, however, I 
had an early account of it.<* Passennus Paulus, a 
distinguished Roman knight, and an eminently 
learned man, has a turn for Elegiac Poetry ; a talent 
which runs in the family, for he is a fellow-townsman 
of Propertius, and actually reckons that poet among 
iiis ancestors. He was lately reciting a poem which 
began thus : 

" Priscus, thou dost command — " 
Whereupon lavolenus Priscus (who was present, 
being one of his particular friends) cried out — "But 
I don't command." Think what a peal of laughter, 
what numerous sallies, this occasioned ! The 
intellects of Priscus, you must know, are something 
suspicious ; yet he enters into common offices of life, 
is called to consultations, and publicly acts as a civil 
pleader, so that this behaviour was the more remark- 
able and ridiculous.* 

Meanwhile Paulus has to thank the craziness of 
another for a somewhat cool reception. So you see, 
intending reciters cannot look too carefully, not only 
to their own sanity, but to that of the audience they 
invite. Farewell. 




C. Plinius Tacito Suo S. 

Petis^ ut tibi avunculi mei exitum scribam^ quo 
verius tradere posteris possis. Gratias ago ; nam 
video morti eius, si celebretur a te, immortalem 
gloriam esse propositam. Quamvis enim pulcher- 
limarum clade terrarum, ut populi, ut urbes, me- 
morabili casu quasi semper victurus occiderit, quam- 
vis ipse plurima opera etmansura condiderit, multum 
tamen perpetuitati eius scriptorum tuorum aeternitas 
addet. Equidem beatos puto^ quibus deorum munere 
datum est aut facere scribenda aut scribere legenda, 
beatissimos vero, quibus utrumque. Horum in nu- 
mero avunculus meus et suis libris et tuis erit. Quo 
libentius suscipio^ deposco etiam, quod iniungis. 

Erat Miseni classemque imperio praesens regebat. 
Nonum Kal. Septembres hora fere septima mater 
mea indicat ei apparere nubem inusitata * et mag- 
nitudine et specie. Usus ille sole, mox frigida 
gustaverat iacens, studebatque ; poscit soleas, ascendit 
locum, ex quo maxima miraculum illud conspici 

' inusitata Dpra, Bipona, K, invisitata M, Midler. 

BOOK VL xvi 


To Tacitus 

Your request that I would send you an account of 
my uncle's end, so that you may transmit a more 
exact relation of it to posterity, deserves my ac- 
knowledgements ; for if his death shall be celebrated 
by your pen, the glory of it, I am aware, will be 
rendered for ever deathless. For notwithstanding he 
perished, as (tid whole peoples and cities, in the 
destruction of a most beautiful region, and by a mis- 
fortune memorable enough to promise him a kind of 
immortality ; notwithstanding he has himself com- 
posed many and lasting works ; yet I am persuaded, 
the mentioning of him in your immortal writings, 
will greatly contribute to eternize his name. Happy 
I esteem those, whom Providence has gifted with the 
ability either to do things worthy of being written, 
or to write in a manner worthy of being read ; but 
most happy they, who are blessed with both talents: 
in Avhich latter class my uncle will be placed both by 
his own writings and by yours. The more willingly 
do I underttike, nay, solicit, the task you set me. 

He was at that time with the fleet under his 
command at Misenum. On the 24th of August, 
about one in the afternoon, my mother desired him 
to observe a cloud of very unusual size and appear- 
ance. He had sunned himself, then taken a cold 
bath, and after a leisurely luncheon was engaged in 
study. He immediately called for his shoes and 
went up an eminence from whence he might best 
view this very uncommon appearance. It was not at 



poterat. Nubes, incertum procul intuentibuSj ex quo 

monte (Vesuvium fuisse postea cognitum est), orieba- 

tur, cuius similitudincm et formam non alia magis 

arbor quani pinus expresserit. Nam longissimo velut 

trunco elata in altum quibusdam ramis diffundebatur, 

credo, quia receiiti spiritu evecta, dein senescente 

eo destituta aut etiara pondere sue victa in lati- 

tudinem evanescebat, Candida interdum, interduni 

sordida et maculosa, prout terraffn cineremve 


Magnum propiusque noscendum ut eruditissimo viro 

visum. lubet Liburnicam aptavi ; mihi, si venire 

una vellem, facit copiara. Respondi studere me 

malle, et forte ipse, quod scriberem, dederat. Egre- 

diebatur domo ; accipit codicillos Rectinae Bassi ^ 

imminent! periculo exterriti (nam vWVk eius subiacebat, 

nee ulla nisi navibus fuga) ; ut se tanto discrimini 

eriperet, orabat. Vertit ille consilium et, quod 

studioso animo inchoaverat, obit maximo. Deducit 

quadrircmes ; ascendit ipse non Retinae modo, sed 

multis (erat enim frequens amoenitas orae) laturus 

auxilium. Properat illuc, unde alii fugiunt, rectum- 

que cursum, recta gubernacula in periculum tenet 

adeo solutus metu, ut omnes illius mali motus, omnes 

' Bassi Gesner, Caesii Bassi, Oierig {Gl. schol. Pers. vi. 1), 
fTasci K, Midler e codd. {■■iine cruce Merrill). 


BOOK VI. xvi 

that distance discernible from what mountain this 
cloud issued, but it was found afterwards to be 
Vesuvius. I cannot give you a more exact description 
of its figure, than by resembling it to that of a pine- 
tree, for it shot up a great height in the form of a 
trunk, which extended itself at the top into several 
branches ; because I imagine, a momentary gust of 
air blew it aloft, and then failing, forsook it ; thus 
causing the cloud to expand laterally as it dissolved, 
or possibly the downward pressure of its own weight 
produced this effect. It was at one moment white, 
at another dark and spotted, as if it had carried up 
earth or cinders. 

My uncle, true savant that he was, deemed the 
phenomenon important and worth a nearer view. 
He ordered a light vessel to be got ready, and gave 
me the liberty, if I thought proper, to attend him. 
I replied I would leather study ; and, as it happened, 
he had himself given me a theme for composition. 
As he was coming out of the house he received a 
note from Rectina, the wife of Bassus, who was in 
the utmost alarm at the imminent danger (his villa 
stood just below us, and there was no way to escape 
but by sea) ; she earnestly entreated him to save her 
from such deadly peril. He changed his first design 
and what he began with a philosophical, he pursued 
with an heroical turn of mind. He ordered large 
galleys to be launched, and went himself on board 
one, with the intention of assisting not only Rectina, 
but many others ; for the villas stand extremely 
thick upon that beautiful coast. Hastening to the 
place from whence others were flying, he steered his 
direct course to the point of danger, and with such 
freedom from fear, as to be able to make and dictate 



figuras, ut deprehenderat oculis, dictaret enotaret- 

Iain navibus cinis inciderat, quo propiii^ accederet, 
calidior etdensior, iam pumices etiam nigrique et am- 
busti et fracti igne lapides, iam vadum subitum ruina- 
que mentis litora obstantia. Cunctatus paulum, an 
retro flecteret, mox gubernatori ut ita faceret monenti 
" Fortes/' inquit, " Fortuna iuvat. Pomponianum 
pete." Stabiis erat diremptus sinu medio (nam sensim 
circumactis curvatisque litoribus mare infunditur) ; 
ibi, quamquam nondum periculo appropinquante, 
conspicuo tamen et, cum cresceret, proximo sarcinas 
contulerat in naves certus fugae, si contrarius ventus 
resedisset ; quo tunc avunculus meus secundissimo 
invectus complectitur trepidantem, consolatur, hor- ♦ 
tatur, utque timorem eius sua securitate leniret, 
deferri se in balineum iubet ; lotus accubat, cenat 
aut hilaris^ aut, quod aeque magnum, similis hilari. 

Interim e Vesuvio monte pluribus locis latissimae 
flammae altaque incendia relucebant, quorum fulgor 
et claritas tenebris noctis excitabatur. Ille agres- 
tium trepidatione ignes relictos desertasque villas 
per solitudinem ardere in remedium formidinis dicti- 

^ cenat aut hil. AJ,K, cenat atque hil. pra, cenatque hil. 


" Now called Castel i Mar di Stabia in the gulf of Naples, 

BOOK VI. xvi 

his observations upon the successive motions and 
figures of that ten-ific object. 

And now cinders, which grew thicker and hotter 
the nearer he approached, fell into the ships, then 
pumice-stones too, with stones blackened, scorched, 
and cracked by fire, then the sea ebbed suddenly 
from under them, while the shore was blocked up by 
landslips from the mountains. After considering a 
moment whether he should retreat, he said to the 
captain who was urging that course, " Fortune 
befriends the brave ; carry me to Pomponianus." 
Pomponianus was then at Stabiae,** distant by half 
the width of the bay (for, as you know, the shore, 
insensibly curving in its sweep, forms here a recep- 
tacle for the sea). He liad already embarked his 
baggage ; for though at Stabiae the danger was not 
yet near, it was full in view, and certain to be ex- 
tremely near, as soon as it spread ; and he resolved 
to fly as soon as the contrary wind should cease. It 
was full favourable, however, for carrying my uncle 
to Pomponianus. He embraces, comforts, and en- 
courages his alarmed friend, and in order to soothe 
the other's fears by his own unconcern, desires to be 
conducted to a bathroom ; and after having bathed, he 
sate down to supper with great cheerfulness, or at 
least (what is equally heroic) with all the appearance 
of it. 

In the meanwhile Mount Vesuvius was blazing in 
several places with spreading and towering flames, 
whose refulgent brightness the darkness of the night 
set in high relief But my uncle, in order to soothe 
apprehensions, kept saying that some fires had been 
left alight by the terrified country people, and what 
they saw were only deserted villas on fire in the 



tabat. Turn se quieti dedit et quievit verissimo quidem 

somno. Nam meatus animae, qui illi propter ampli- 

tudinem corporis gravior et sonantior erat, ab iis, qui 

limini obversabantur, audiebutur. Sed area, ex qua 

diaeta adibatur, ita iam cinere mixtisque pumieibus 

oppleta surrexerat, ut, si longior in cubiculo mora, 

exitus negaretur. Excilatus procedit seque Pom- 

poniano ceterisque, qui pervigilarant, reddit. In 

commune consultant, intra tecta subsistant an in 

aperto vagentui*. Nam crebris vastisque tremoribus 

tecta nutabant et quasi emota sedibus suis nunc hue, 

nunc illuc abire aut referri videbantur. Sub dio 

rursus quamquara levium exesorumque pumicum 

casus metuebatur ; quod tamen periculorum collatio 

elegit. Et apud ilium quidem ratio rationem, apud 

alios timorem timor vicit. Cervicalia capitibus im- 

posita linteis constringunt ; id munimentum adversus 

incidentia fuit. 

lara dies alibi, illic nox omnibus noctibus 

nigrior densiorque ; quam tamen faces multae 

variaque lumina solabantur.^ Placuit egredi in litus 

et e proximo aspicere, ecquid iam mare admitteret ; 

quod adhuc vastum et adversum permanebat. Ibi 

super abiectum linteum recubans semel atque itenim 

frigidam poposcit hausitque. Deinde flammae flam- 

^ solabantur, Cortius et cod. Laurent. 47. 34 {tede Keil), 
solebantur M, solvebant Catan., a, Bipons. 


BOOK VI. xvi 

abandoned district. After this he retired to rest, and 
it is most certain that his rest was a most genuine 
slumber ; for liis breathing, which, as he was pretty 
fat, was somewhat heavy and sonorous, was heard by 
those who attended at his chamber-door. But the 
court whicli led to his apartment now lay so deep 
under a mixture of pumice-stones and ashes, that if 
he had continued longer in his bedroom, egress would 
have been impossible. On being aroused, he came 
out, and returned to Pomponianusand the others, who 
had sfit up all night. They consulted together as to 
whether they should hold out in the house, or 
wander about in the open. For the house now 
tottered under repeated and violent concussions, and 
seemed to rock to and fro as if torn from its 
foundations. In tll£^ open air, on the other hand, 
they dreaded the falling pumice-stones, light and 
porous though they were ; yet this, by comparison, 
seemed the lesser danger of the two ; a conclusion 
which my uncle arrived at by balancing reasons, and 
the others by balancing fears. They tied pillows 
upon their heads with napkins ; and this was their 
whole defence against the showers that fell round 

It was now day everywhere else, but there a 
deeper darkness prevailed than in the most obscure 
night ; relieved, however, by many torches and 
divers illuminations. They thought proper to go 
down upon the shore to observe from close at hand 
if they could possibly put out to sea, but they found 
the waves still run extremely high and contrary. 
There my uncle having thrown himself down upon a 
disused sail, repeatedly called for, and drank, a 
draught of cold water ; soon after, flames, and a 


VOL. I. I I 


marumque praemintius odor sulfiiris alios in fugam 
vertunt, excitant ilium. Innitens^ servulis duobus 
assurrexit et statim c-oncidit, ut ego colligo,- crassiore 
caligine spiritu obstructo clausoque stomacho, qui illi 
natura invalidus et angustus et frequenter inter- 
aestuans ^ erat. Ubi dies redditiis (is ab eo, quem 
novissinae viderat, tertius), corpus inventum est 
integrum, illaesum opertumque, ut fuerat indutus ; 
habitus corporis quiescenti quam dcfuncto similior. 

Interim Miseni ego et mater. Sed nihil ad historiam, 
nee tu aliud quam de exitu eius scire voluisti. 
Finem ergo faciam. Unum adiciam, omnia me, 
quibus intei'fueram, quaeque statim, cum maxime 
vera memorantur, audiei'am, persecutum. Tu potis- 
sima excerpes. Aliud est enim epistulam, aliud 
historiam, aliud amico, aliud omnibus scribere. 


C. Plinius Restituto Suo S. 

Indignatiunculam, quam in cuiusdam amici audi- 
torio cepi, non possum mihi temperare quo minus 
apud te, quia non contingit coram, per epistulam 

' innitens M, Bipons, K, innixus Dpra, Midler. 
2 colligo M, Bipons, K, coniecto Dpra, Aliiller. 

BOOK VI. xvi.-xvii 

strong smell of sulphur, which was the forerunner of 
them, dispersed the rest of the company in flight ; 
him they only aroused. He raised himself up with 
the assistance of two of his slaves, but instantly fell ; 
some unusually gross vapour, as I conjecture, having 
obstructed his breathing and blocked his windpipe, 
which was not only naturally weak and constricted, 
but chronically inflamed. When day dawned again 
(the third from that he last beheld) his body was 
found entire and uninjured, and still fully clothed as 
in life ; its posture Avas that of a sleeping, rather 
than a dead man. 

Meanwhile my mother and I were at Misenum. 
But this has no connection with history, and your 
inquiry went no farther than concerning my uncle's 
death. I will therefore put an end to my letter. 
Suffer me only to add, that I have faithfully related 
to you what I was either an eye-witness of myself, or 
heard at the time, when report speaks most trul}-. 
You will select what is most suitable to your 
purpose ; for there is a great difference between a 
letter, and an history ; between writing to a friend, 
and writing for the public. Farewell. 


To Restitutus 

I CANNOT forbear pouring out before you in a letter 
since I have no opportunity of doing so in person, 
the little fit of an^er I was taken with at a recital Th 
a friend's house. The work read to us was a highly 

' inleraestuana Dp a, Bipons, Miiller, intus aest. ?•, 
aestuans M, K. 

t I 2 


effundam. Recitabatur liber absolutissimus. Hunc 
duo aut tres, ut sibi et paucis videntur, diserti, surdis 
mutisqiie similes audiebant. Non labra diduxerunt, 
uon inoverunt manunij non denique assurrexerunt, 
salteni lassitudine sedendi. 

Quae tanta gravitas ? quae tanta sapientia ? quae 
immo pigritia, arrogantiaj sinisteritas ac potius amen- 
tia, in hoc totum diem impendere, ut ofFendas, ut 
inimicum relinquas, ad quem tamquam amicissimum 
veneris ? Disertior ipse es ? Tanto magis ne in- 
yideris. Nam, qui invidet, minor est. Denique, sive 
plus sive minus sive idem praestas, lauda vel inferio- 
rem vel superiorem vel parem ; superiorem, quia, nisi 
laudandus ille, non potes ipse laudari ; inferiorem aut 
parem, quia pertinet ad tuam gloriam quam maximum 
videri, quem praecedis vel exaequas. 

Equidem omnes, qui aliquid in studiis faciunt, 
venerari etiam mirarique soleo. Est enim res diffici- 
lis, ardua, fastidiosa, et quae eos, a quibus contemni- 
tur, invicem contemnat. Nisi forte aliud iudicas tu. 
Quamquam quis uno te reverentior huius operis, quis 
benignior aestimator ? Qua ratione ductus tibi 
potissimum indignationem meam prodidi, quem 
habere socium maxime poteram. Vale. 


BOOK VI. xvii 

finished performance ; but there were two or three 
persons among the audience, men of eloquence in 
their own and a few others' estimation, who 
sate like so many deaf-mutes, without so much as 
moving a lip or a hand, or once rising to their feet, 
even by way of relief from a seated posture. 

Now what means all this portentous wisdom and 
solemnity, or rather, indeed (to give it its true 
appellation), this indolence, this arrogance, this 
^ucherie, nay, idiocy, that will be at the expense of 
a wTioTcT day merely to affront and leave as your 
enemy a man you visited as a particular friend .'' 
Are you more eloquent than the orator vou chance to 
be listening to ? So much the rather should you be 
on your guard against envy, a passion only felt 
towards our superiors. In fine, be your talent 
greater or equal, or less than the performer's, you 
should still praise him ; if less, because if one of 
more exalted abilities does not meet with applause, 
neither possibly can you : if greater or equal, 
because the higher his glory rises whom you equal or 
excel, the more considerable yours must necessarily 

For my own part, I honour and revere all who 
discover any talent for oratory ; for the Muse of 
Eloquence is a coy and haughty dame, who scorns to 
reside with those that despise her. But perhaps you 
are not of this opinion : yet who has a greater 
regard for this glorious science, or is a more candid 
judge of it than yourself? In confidence of which, I 
chose to vent my indignation particularly to you, 
as not doubting you would be the first to share it. 




C. PuNius SAniNo Suo S. 

RoGAS, ut agam Firmanorum publicam causam ; 
quod ego, qiiamquam plurimis occupaHonibus disten- 
tus, adnitar. Cupio enim et ornatissimam coloniam 
advocationis officio et te gratissimo tibi munere 
obstringere. Nam^ cum familiaritatem nostram^ ut 
soles praedicare, ad praesidium ornamentumque tibi 
suuipseriSj nihil est, quod negare debeam, praesertim 
pro patria petenti. Quid enim j)recibus aut hones- 
tius piis aut efficacius amantisj} Proinde Firmanis 
tuis ac iam potius nostris obliga fid em meam ; quos 
laboi'e et studio meo dignos cum splendor ipsorum 
turn hoc maxime pollicetur, quod cvedibile est 
optimos essCj inter quos tu talis moreris.^ Vale. 


C. PuNius Nepoti Suo S. 

Scis tu accessisse pretium agris, praecipue subur- 
banis ? Causa subitae caritatis res multis agitata 
sermouibus. Proximis comitiis honestissimas voces 
senatus expressit : " Candidati ne conviventur, ne 
mittant munera, ne pecunias deponant." Ex quibus 

' moreris M, Bipons, extiteria Dpra, K, Muller. 

BOOK VI. xviiL-xix 

To S A BIN us 

I WILL endeavour as you desire to undertake the 
cause of the Firmani, though I have many affairs 
upon my liands : for I should be extremely glad to 
oblige an illustrious colony by my professional services, 
and yourself by an acceptable favour. How indeed 
can I refuse you anything, who profess to have 
sought my friendship as your ornament and support, 
especially when^your request is on behalf of your 
native place ? vFor what can be more honourable 
than the prayers of duteous -^ affection, or more 
powerful than those of a friend ? You may engage for 
me therefore to your, or rather as I should now call 
them our, friends the Firmani. And though their 
own illustrious character promises that they will 
deserve my care and pains ; yet I derive my chief 
assurance of this, from seeing a man of your dis- 
tinguished virtues tarrying amongst them. 


To Nepos 

Are you informed that the price of land is risen 
especially in the neighbourhood of Rome ? The cause 
of this sudden advance has been much discussed,. At 
the last assembly for the election of magistrates, the 
Senate passed a very honourable decree, whereby the 
candidates for any office are prohibited from giving 
any treat, present, or depositing sums of money.'* 

" fic. in the hands of agents, to be distributed as bribes. 



duo priora tain aperte quam immodice fiebant, hoc 
tertium, quaiiKjuam occultaretur, pro coinperto 

Homullus deinde noster, vigilanter usus hoc con- 
sensu senatus sententiae loco postulavit, ut consules 
desiderium universorum notum princlpi facerent 
peterentque^ sicut ahis vitiis huic quoque providentia 
sua occurreret. Occunit ; nam snmptus candidatorum 
foedos illos et infames ambitus lege restrinxit ; 
eosdem patrimonii tertiam partem conferre iussit in 
ea^ quae solo continerentur, deforme arbitratus, ut 
erat/ honorem petituros urbem Italiamque non pro 
patria, sed pro hospitio aut stabulo quasi peregrinan- 
tes habere. 

Concursant ergo candidati ; certatim, quidquid 
venale audiunt, emptitant^ quoque sint plura venalia, 
efficiunt. Proinde, si paenitet te Italicorum praedio- 
rum, hoc vendendi tempus tam hercule quam in 
provinciis comparandi, dum iidem candidati illic 
vendunt, ut hie emant. Vale. 




Ais te adductum litteris^ quas exigenti tibi de morte 
avunculi mei scripsi^ cupere cognoscere, quos ego 

1 ut erat a, Bipons, Midler, et erat K, codd. 

BOOK VI. xix.-xx 

The two former of these abuses were practised with 
as little restraint as concealment ; the latter, though 
carried on secretly was well known to exist. 

Our friend Homullus, alertly taking advantage of 
this unanimity of the Senate, instead of speaking to 
the motion before the house, moved that the consuls 
should acquaint the Emperor of the universal wish 
and request him to obviate this abuse, as he has 
otliers, by personal interposition. The Emperor was 
pleased to do so, and published an edict to restrain 
those infamous largesses ; wherein he directs that no 
person shall be admitted as a candidate who does 
not invest a third part of his fortune in real estate ; 
esteeming it highly indecent (as no doubt it is) that 
those who seek office should look upon Rome and 
Italy not as their native land, but as a hospice or inn 
for them upon their travels. 

Hence there is a general struggle among candi- 
dates ; they bid against each other for every estate 
they hear is for sale, and thus bring more into the 
market. If therefore you repent of owning Italian 
lands, now is the time to sell them. And now, too, 
in good faith is the time to acquire estates in the 
provinces, for those same candidates are selling there, 
in order to buy here. Farewell. 


To Cornelius Tacitus 

The letter which, in compliance with your request, 
I wrote to you concerning the death of my uncle," 
lias raised, you say, your curiosity to know not only 
" See vi. 16. 



Miseni rclictus (id enim ingressus abruperam) rion 
solum metuSj verura etiam casus pertulerim. 

" Quamquam animus meminisse horret, 
Incipiam." ^ 

Profecto avunculo ipse reliquum tempiis studiis 
(ideo enim remanseram) impendi : mox balineum, 
cena, somnus inqiiietus et brevis. Praecesserat per 
multos dies tremor terrae minus formidolosus, quia 
Campaniae solitus ; ilia vero nocte ita invaluit, ut nou 
moveri omnia^ sed everti crederentur. Inrumpit in 
cubiculum meum mater; surgebam invicem, si quie- 
sceret^ excitaturus. Residimus^ in area domus, quae 
mare a tectis modico spatio dividebat. Dubito, 
eonstantiam vocare an imprudentiam debeam ; agebara 
enim duodevicesimum annum. Posco librum Titi 
Livii et quasi per otium lego, atque etiam, ut 
coeperam, excerpo. Ecce amicus avunculi, qui nuper 
ad eum ex Hispania venerat, ut me et matrem 
sedentes, me vero etiam legentem videt, illius pati- 
entiam, securitatem meam corripit, Nihilo segnius 
ego intentus in librum. 

lam hora diei prima, et adhuc dubius et quasi 
languidus dies. lam quassatis circumiacentibus 
tectis, quamquam in aperto loco, angusto tamen, 
magnus et certus ruinae metus. Turn denuun 

^ Verg. Aen. ii. 12. 

^ Residimus Bipons, K, Merrill (e cod. Urhin.), resedi- 
mu8 Dpra, Midler, residemus M. 



what terrors, but what calamities I endured when 
left behind at Misenum (for there I broke off my 

"Though my shock'd soul recoils, my tongue shall 

My uncle having set out, I gave the rest of the 
day to study — the object which had kept me at home. 
After which I bathed, dined, and retired to short 
and broken slumbers. There had been for several 
days before some shocks of earthquake, which the 
less alarmed us as they are frequent in Campania; 
but that night they became so violent that one might 
think that the world was not being merely shaken, 
but turned topsy-turvy. My mother flew to my 
chamber ; I was just i-ising, meaning on my part to 
awaken her, if she was asleep. We sat down in the 
forecourt of the house, which separated it by a short 
space from the sea. I know not whether I should 
call it courage or inexperience — I was not quite 
eighteen — but I called for a volume of Livy, and 
began to read, and even went on with the extracts I 
was making from it, as if nothing were the matter. 
Lo and behold, a friend of my uncle's, who was just 
come to him from Spain, appears on the scene ; 
observing my mother and me seated, and that I have 
actually a book in my hand, he sharply censures her 
patience and my indifference ; nevertheless I still 
went on intently with my author. 

It was now six o'clock in the morning, the light 
still ambiguous and faint. The buildings around us 
already tottered, and though we stood upon open 
ground, yet as the place was narrow and confined, 
there was certain and formidable danger from their 



excedere oppido visum. Sequitur valgus altonitum, 
quodque in pavore simile prudentiae, alienum 
consilium suo praefert ingentique agmine abeuntes 
premit et impellit. Egressi tecta consistimus. 
Multa ibi miranda^ multas formidines patimur. Nam 
vehicula, quae produci iusseramus^ quamquam in 
pianissimo campo. in contrarias partes agebantur ac 
ne lapidibus quidem fulta in eodem vestigio quiesce- 
bant. Praeterea mare in se resorberi et tremore 
terrae quasi repelli videbamus. Certe processerat 
litus multaque animalia maris siccis arenis detinebat. 
Ab altero latere nubes atra et horrenda ignei sj)iritus 
tortis vibratisque discursibus rupta in longas flam- 
marum figuras dehiscebat ; fulgoribus illae et similes 
et maiores erant. 

Turn vero ille idem ex Hispania amicus acrius et 
instantiuSj "Si frater," inquit, "tuus^ tuus avunculus 
vivit, vult esse vos salvos : si periit, superstites 
voluit. Proinde quid cessatis evadei'e ? " Respondi- 
mus non commissuros nos, ut de salute eius incerti 
nostrae consuleremus. Non moratus ultra proripit se 
effusoque cursu periculo aufertur. Nee multo post 
ilia nubes descendere in terras^ operire maria ; cinxe- 
rat Capreas et absconderat^ Miseni quod procurrit, 
abstulerat. Turn mater orare, hortari, iubere, 


collapsing. It was not till then we resolved to quit 
the town. The common people follow us in the 
mtmost consternation, preferring the judgement of 
others to their own (wherein the extreme of fear 
resembles prudence), and impel us onwards by 
pressing in a crowd upon our rear. Being got outside 
the houses, we halt in the midst of a most strange 
and dreadful scene. The coaches which we had 
ordered out, though upon the most level ground, were 
sliding to and fro, and could not be kept steady even 
wlien stones were put against the wheels. Then we 
beheld the sea sucked back, and as it were repulsed 
by the convulsive motion of the earth ; it is certain 
at least the shore was considerably enlarged, and 
now held many sea animals captive on the dry sand. 
On the other side, a black and dreadful cloud 
bursting out in gusts of igneous serpentine vapour 
now and again yawned open to reveal long fantastic 
flames, resembling flashes of lightning but much 

Our Spanish friend already mentioned now spoke 
with more warmth and instancy : " If your brother — 
if your uncle,'' said he, " is yet alive, he wishes you 
both may be saved ; if he has perished, it was his 
desire that you might survive him. Why therefore 
do you delay your escape ? " We could never think of 
our own safety, we said, while we were uncertain of his. 
Witliout more ado our friend hurried off, and took 
himself out of danger at the top of his speed. 

Soon afterwards, the cloud I have described began 
to descend upon the earth, and cover the sea. It 
had already begirt the hidden Capreae, and blotted 
from sight the promontory of Misenum. My mother 
now began to beseech, exhort, and command me to 



quoquo niodo fugerem ; posse enim iuvenem, se et 
annis et corpore gravem bene morituram, si mihi 
causa mortis non fuisset. Ego contra salvum me 
nisi una non futurum ; deinde manum eius am- 
plexus addere graduni cogo ; paret aegre, incusatque 
sCj quod me morctur. lam cinis, adhuc tamen 
rarus. Respicio ; densa caligo tergis imminebat, quae 
nos torrentis modo infusa terrae sequebatur. 
" Deflectamus/' inquam, " dum videmus, ne in via 
strati comitantium turba in tenebris obteramur." 
Vix consederamus,^ et nox, non quasi illunis aut 
nubila, sed qualis in locis clausis lumine exstincto. 
Audires ululatus feminarum, infantium quiritatus, 
clamores virorum ; alii parentes^ alii liberos, alii 
coniuges vocibus requirebant, vocibus noscitabant ; hi 
suum casum, illi suorum miserebantur ; erantj qui 
metu mortis mortem precarentur. Multi ad deos 
manus tollere : plures nusquam iam deos ullos aeter- 
namque illam et novissimam noctem muudo 
i nterpretabantu r. 

Nee defuerunt, qui fictis mentitisque terroribus 
vera pericula augerent. Aderant, qui Miseni illud 
ruisse, illud ardere falsOj sed credentibus nuntiabant. 
Paulum reluxit ; quod non dies nobis, sed adventantis 
ignis indicium videbatur. Et ignis quidem longius 
substitit, tenebrae rursus, cinis rursus multus et 

* consederamus Blpons, Midler^ consider. K, Mtrrill. 


escape as best I might ; a young man could do it ; 
she, burdened with age and corpulency, would die 
easy if only she had not caused my death. I replied, 
I would not be saved without her, and taking her by 
the hand, I hurried her on. She complies reluctantly 
and not without reproaching herself for retarding me. 
Ashes now fall upon us, though as yet in no great 
quantity. I looked behind me ; gross darkness 
pressed upon our rear, and came rolling over the 
land after us like a torrent. I proposed while we 
yet could see, to turn aside, lest we should be knocked 
down in the road by the crowd that followed us and 
trampled to death in the dark. We had scarce sat 
down, when darkness overspread us, not like that of 
a moonless or cloudy night, but of a room when 
it is shut up, and the lamp put out. You could 
hear the shrieks of women, the crying of children, 
and the shouts of men ; some were seeking their 
children, others their parents, others their wives or 
husbands, and only distinguishing them by their 
voices ; one lamenting his own fate, another that of 
his family ; some praying to die, from the very fear 
of dying ; many lifting their hands to the gods ; but 
the greater part imagining that there were no gods 
left anywhere, and that the last and eternal night 
was come upon the world. 

There were even some who augmented the real 
perils by imaginary terrors. Newcomers reported 
that such or such a building at Misenum had collapsed 
or taken fire — falsely, but they were credited. By 
degrees it grew lighter ; which we imagined to be 
rather the warning of approaching fire (as in truth it 
was) than the return of day : however, the fire stayed 
at a distance from us : then again came darkness, and 



gravis. Hunc identidem adsurgentes excutiebamus ; 
operti alioqui atque etiam oblisi pondere essemus. 
Possem gloriari non gemitum mihi^ non vocem parum 
fortem in tantis periculis excidisse, nisi me cum 
omnibus, omnia mecum perire misero, magno tamen 
mortalitatis solacio ci*edidissem. 

Tandem ilia caligo tenuata quasi in fumum nebu- 
lamve decessit ; mox dies verus, sol etiam efFulsit, 
luridus tamen, quails esse, cum deficit, solet. Occur- 
sabant trepidantibus adhuc oculis mutata omnia 
altoque cinere tamquam nive obducta. Regressi 
Misenum curatis utcunque corporibus suspensam 
dubiamque noctem spe ac metu exegimus. Metus 
praevalebat ; nam et tremor terrae perseverabat, et 
plerique lymphati terrificis vaticinationibus et sua 
et aliena mala ludificabantur. Nobis tamen ne tunc 
quidem, quamquam et expertis periculum et exspec- 
tantibus, abeundi consilium, donee de avunculo 

Haec nequaquam historia digna non scripturus 
leges et tibi, scilicet qui requisisti, imputabis, si 
digna ne epistula quidem videbuntur. Vale. 



a heavy shower of ashes ; we were obliged every now 
and then to rise and shake them off, otherwise we 
should have been buried and even crushed under their 
weight. I might have boasted that amidst dangers so 
appalling, not a sigh or expression of fear escaped 
from me, had not my support been founded in that 
miserable, though strong consolation, that all man- 
kind were involved in the same calamity, and that 1 
was perishing with the world itself. 

At last this dreadful darkness was attenuated by 
degrees to a kind of cloud or smoke, and passed 
away ; presently the real day returned, and even the 
sun appeared, though lurid as when an eclipse is 
in progress. Every object that presented itself to 
our yet affrighted gaze was changed, cover'd over with 
a drift of ashes, as with snow. We returned to 
Misenum, where we refreshed ourselves as well as 
we could, and passed an anxious night between hope 
and fear ; though indeed with a much larger share of 
the latter, for the earthquake still continued, and 
several enthusiastic people were giving a grotesque 
turn to their own and their neighbours' calamities by 
terrible predictions. Even then, however, my mother 
and I, notwithstanding the danger we had passed, 
and that which still threatened us, had no thoughts 
of leaving the place, till we should receive some 
tidings of my uncle. 

And now, you will read this narrative, so far 
beneatli the dignity of a history, without any view of 
transferring it to your own ; and indeed you must 
impute it to your own i-equest, if it shall appear scarce 
worthy of a letter. Farewell. 




C. Plinius Caninio Suo S. 

Sum ego is,^ qui mirer antiques, non tamen ut 
quidam tempoi'um nostrorum ingenia despicio. 
Neque enim quasi lassa et effeta natura, ut nihil 
iam laudabile pariat. Atque adeo nuper audii Ver- 
gilium Romanum paucis legentem comoediam ad 
exemplar vetei-is comoediae scriptam tam bene, ut 
esse quandoque possit exemplar. 

Nescio, an noris hominem. Quamquam nosse 
debes ; est enim probitate morum, ingenii elegantia, 
operum varietate monstrabilis. Scrij^sit mimiambos 
tenuiter, argute, venuste atque in hoc genere 
eloquentissime (nullum est enim genus, quod 
absolutum non possit eloquentissimum dici), scripsit 
comoedias Menandrum aliosque aetatis eiusdem 
aemulatus ; licet has inter Plautinas Terentianasque 

Nunc primum se in vetere comoedia, sed non tam- 
quam inciperet, ostendit. Non illi vis, non granditas, 

^ sum ego is, qui mirer Oierig, Miilltr, sum ex lis, qui mirer 
codd., ex lis, qui mirantur Schcifer. 

" i.e. the Aristophanic ; see note below. Vergilius 
Romanus is otherwise unknown. ' 

' On mimiamhi see IV. 3, note. 

« The Alexandrian critics divided Attic Comedy into the 
"Old" and the "New." Aristophanes is the greatest master 
of the former, which deals with personal and political 


BOOK VI. xxi 


To Caninus 

Though 1 acknowledge myself" an admirer of the 
ancients, yet I am very far from despising, as some 
affect to do, the genius of the moderns : nor can 1 
suppose, that nature in these latter ages is so worn 
out, as to be incapable of any valuable production. 
On the contrary, I liave lately had the pleasure of 
hearing Vergilius Romanus read to a few select 
friends a Comedy so justly formed upon the plan of 
the Ancient,* that it may one day serve itself for a 

I know not whether he is in the number of your 
acquaintance ; I am sure at least he deserves to be 
so, as he is greatly distinguished by the probity of 
his manners, the elegance of his genius, and the 
variety of his productions. He has written some 
very agreeable pieces of the burlesque kind in 
Iambics,^ with much delicacy, wfTaftd himiour, and I 
will add too, even eloquence ; for every species of 
composition, which is finished in its kind, may with 
propriety be termed eloquent. He has also com- 
posed some Comedies after the manner of Menander 
and other authors of that age, which deserve to be 
ranked with those of Plautus and Terence. 

He has now, for the first time, attempted the 
ancient" Comedy, but in such a manner as to shew 
he is a perfect master in this way. Strength, 
majesty, and delicacy, softness, poignancy, and wit, 

satire ; Menander of the latter, which satirised types, not 
individuals, and created the stock-characters we meet in the 
Latin adaptations of Plautus and Terence. 


K K 2 


lion subtilitas, non amaritudo, non dulcedo, non 
lepos defuit ; oniavit virtutes, insectatus est vitia, 
fictis nominibus decenter, veris usus est apte. Circa 
me tantum benignitate nimia luodum excessit, nisi 
quod tamen poetis mentiri licet. In summa extor- 
quebo ei librum legendumque, inimo ediscendum 
mittani tibi ; neque enim dubito futurum ut non 
deponas, si semel sumpseris. Vale. 

C. Plinius TiRONi Suo S. 

Magna res acta est omnium, qui sunt provinciis 
praefuturi, magna omnium^ qui se simpliciter credunt 
amicis. Lustricus Bruttianus cum Montanum^ 
Atticinum, comitem suum, in multis flagitiis depre- 
bendisset, Caesari scripsit. Atticinus flagitiis addidit, 
ut quem deceperat, accusaret. Recepta cognitio est. 
Fui in consilio ; egit uterque pro se, egit autem 
carptim et Kara K^tjidXaiov^ quo genere Veritas statim 

* Moubanum p, Catan. a, Bipons, Montanium M Dr, K. 

BOOK VI. xxi.-xxii 

are the j^races which shine out in this performance 
with full lustre. He represents Virtue in the fairest 
colours, at the same time that he lashes vice ; he 
makes use of feigned names with great propriety, of 
real ones with much justness. With respect only 
to myself, I should say he has erred through an 
excess of good-will, if I did not know that fiction is 
the privilege of poets. In a word, I will insist upon 
his letting me have the copy, that I may send it to 
you for your perusal, or rather that you may get it 
by heart ; for I am well persuaded when you have 
once taken it up, you will not easily lay it aside. 


To Tiro 

An affair has lately been transacted here, which 
nearly concerns those who shall hereafter be 
appointed governors of provinces, as well as every 
man who too incautiously trusts his friends. Lus- 
tricus Bruttianus having detected his lieutenant, 
Montanus Atticinus, in several enormous crimes, 
wrote a report to the Emperor. Atticinus on the 
other hand added to his guilt by commencing a 
prosecution against the friend whose confidence lie 
had abused. His information was received, and I 
Avas one of the assessors at this trial. Both parties 
pleaded their own cause, but in a summary way, 
keeping closely to the articles of the charge ; a 
method by much the shortest of discovering the 



Protulit Bruttianus testamentum suum, quod 
Atticini manu sciiptuin esse dicebat ; hoc cnim et 
arcana familiaritas et querendi de eo, quern sic 
amasset, necessitas indicabatur. Enumeravit crimina 
foeda manifesta ; quae ille, cum diluere non posset, 
ita regessit, ut, dum defenditur, turpis, dum accusat, 
sceleratus probaretur. Corru])to enim scribae servo 
interceperat commentarios intercideratque ac per 
summum nefas utebatur ad versus amicuui criinine 

Fecit pulcherrime Caesar ; non enim de Bruttiano, 
sed statim de Atticino jiierrogavit. Damnatus et in 
insulam relegatus ; Bruttiano iustissimum integri talis 
testimonium redditum, quem quidem etiam constan- 
tiae gloria secuta est. Nam defensus expeditissime 
accusavit vehementer nee minus acer quam bonus et 
sincerus apparuit. 

Quod tibi scripsi, ut te sortitum provinciam prae- 
monerem, plurimum tibi credas nee cuiquam satis 
fidas, deinde scias, si quis forte te, quod abominor, 
fallat, paratam ultionem ; qua tamen ne sit opus, 
etiam atque etiam attende. Neque enim tam iu- 
cundum est vindicari quam decipi miserum. Vale. 

BOOK VI xxii 

Bruttianus, as a proof of the implicit confidence 
he had reposed in his friend, and that nothing but 
absohite necessity could have extorted from him^ 
this complaint, produced his will ; all, as he said, in 
the hand-writing of Atticinus. He then enumerated 
the latter's infamous and patent crimes. Being 
unable to rebut the accusations, Atticinus resorted 
to counter-charges, which only served to show his 
cowardliness as defendant and his villainy as plaintiff. 
For it came out that by bribing a slave belonging to 
Bruttianus' secretary, he had got at his account- 
books, which he falsified ; and had the consummate 
villainy to malie this criminal act a weapon against 
his friend. 

The Emperor took an extremely noble course ; he 
immediately asked the verdict of the house, not 
upon Bruttianus, but Atticinus. He was condemned, 
and banished to an island. Bruttianus was thus 
accorded a well -deserved testimony of his integrity, 
and further reaped the credit of having behaved 
courageously. For he defended himself promptly, 
pressed his charges against Atticinus with vigour, 
and approved himself no less a man of spirit than of 
worth and honesty. 

I send you this account firstly as a caution to 
depend mainly upon yourself in the government you 
have obtained, and not trust anyone very far ; next, 
to assure you that if you should happen to be 
imposed upon (which Heaven forefend) you will 
readily meet with satisfaction here. Nevertheless, 
be constantly on the watch that you may stand in no 
need of it ; for the pleasure of being redressed 
cannot compensate the wretchedness of being 
deceived. Farewell. 




C. Plinius Tuiario Suo S. 

Impensr petis, ut agam causam pertinentem ad 
curam tuarrij pulcliram alioquin et famosam. Faciam, 
sed non gratis. "Qui fieri potest/' inquis, " ut iion 
gratis tu ? " Potest; exigam enim mercedem hones- 
tiorem gratuito patroeinio. Peto atque etiam pacis- 
cor, ut siniul agat Cremutius Ruso. ' Solitum hoc mihi 
et iam in pluribus claris adulescentibus factitatum. 
Nam mire concupisco bonos iuvenes ostendere foro, 
adsignare fomae. 

Quod si cui^ praestare Rusoni meo debeo vel 
propter natales ipsius vel propter eximiam mei cari- 
tatem ; quem magni aestimo in isdcm iudiciis^ ex 
isdem etiam partibus conspici, audiri. Obliga me, 
obliga, ante quam dicat; nam cum dixerit, gratias 
ages. Spondeo sollicitudini tuae, spei meae, magnitu- 
dini causae suffecturum. Est indolis optimae brevi 
producturus alios, si interim productus^ fuerit a nobis. 
Neque enim cuiquam tam clarum statim ingenium, ut 
possit emergere, nisi illi materia, occasio, fautor etiam 
commendatorque contingat. Vale. 

^ productus Z)r, K, provectus Mpa. 

BOOK VI. xxiii 

To Triarius 

You earnestly request me to undertake a cause in 
which you are nearly concerned, and which, besides, 
is in itself honourable and famous. Well, I will be 
your counsel, but not without a fee. " Is it possible," 
you exclaim, " that my friend Pliny should be so 
mercenary?" In truth it is; for I insist upon a 
reward which will do me more honour than to give 
ray patronage gratuitously. I request then — nay, I 
stipulate, that Cremutius Ruso may be joined with 
me as counsel. This is a practice which I have 
frequently observed with respect to several dis- 
tinguished youths ; as I take infinite pleasure in 
introducing young men of merit to the bar, and 
assigning theni over to Fame. 

But if ever I owed this good office to any man, it 
is certainly to Ruso, not only upon account of his 
j)arentage, but his exceptional affection to me ; and 
I should highly value the opportunity of letting him 
appear in the same cause and on the same side with 
myself. Oblige me in this ; oblige is the word, until 
he has pleaded your cause, but then you will thank 
me for doing you a favour. I will be answerable 
that he shall acquit himself in such a manner as 
your solicitude, my hopes, and the importance of the 
cause demand. He is a youth of a most excellent 
disposition, and when once I shall have produced his 
merit, we shall soon see him forward that of others ; 
as indeed no man's talents, however shining, can 
raise him at once from obscurity unless they find 
scope, opportunity, and also a patron to recommend 
them. Farewell. 



C. Plinius Macro Suo S. 

QuAM multum interest, quid a quo ^ fiat ! Eadem 
enim facta claritate vel obscuritate facientium aut 
tolluntur altissime aut humillime dcprimuntur. Na- 
vigabam per Larium nostrum, cum senior amicus 
ostendit mihi villam atque etiam cubical um, quod in 
lacum prominet. ' Ex hoc/ inquit, ' aliquando mun- 
iceps nostra cum marito se praecipitavit.' Causam 
requisivi. Maritus ex diutino morbo circa velanda 
corporis ulceribus putrescebat : uxor, ut inspiceret, 
exegit; neque enim quemquam fideliiis indicaturum, 
possetne sanari. Vidit, desperavit ; liortata est, ut 
moreretur, comesque ipsa mortis, dux immo et ex- 
emplum et necessitas fuit. Nam se cum marito 
ligavit abiecitque in lacum. 

Quod factum ne mihi quidem, qui municeps, nisi 
proxime auditum est ; non quia minus illo clarissimo 
Arriae facto, sed quia minor ipsa. Vale. 

^ quid a quo Casarib., Bipons, quid a quoque MD pra, 
a quo quid K, a quo quidque K}, Midler, 


BOOK VI. xxiv 


To Macer 

How miicli does tlie fame of human actions depend 
upon the station of those who perform them ! Tlie 
very same conduct shall either be extolled to the 
skies or lie unregarded in the dust, as it happens to 
proceed from a person of conspicuous or obscure 
rank. I was sailing lately upon our Larius ^ with an 
old man of my acquaintance, wlio pointed out to me 
a villa, and particularly one of its chambers which 
pi'ojccted into the lake. " From that room," said he, 
" a woman of our city once threw herself and her 
husband." Upon inquiring into the cause, he 
informed me that her husband having been long 
afflicted with an ulcer in those parts which modesty 
conceals, she exacted his leave to inspect it, pro- 
testing that no one would give him a more honest 
opinion whether it was curable. She looked and 
she despaired. She then advised him to put an end 
to his life ; and made herself not only the companion 
but actually tlie guide, example, and instrument of 
his death ; for tying lierself to her husband, she 
plunged with him into the lake. 

Even I, her fellow-townsman, never heard of this 
woman's act until the other day ; it i-emains thus 
unknown, not because it was less nobly done than 
Arria's famous deed, but because she was less nobly 
born than Arria. Farewell. 

( " d^he T^ajke of Como. Macer was evidently, like Pliny, a 
native of Comum. 




C. Pmnius Hispano Suo S. 

ScRiDis Robustum, splcndidum equitem Romanum, 
ciiin Attilio Scaiiro, amico nieOj Ocriculum usque 
commune iter peregisse, deinde nusquam compar- 
uisse ; petis, ut Scaurus veniat nosque, si potest^ in 
aliqua inquisitionis vestigia inducat. Veniet ; vercor, 
ne frustra. Suspicor enim tale nescio quid Robusto 
accidisse quale aliquando Metilio CrispOj municipi 
meo. Huic ego ordinem impetraveram atque etiam 
proficiscenti quadraginta milia nummum ad instru- 
endura se ornandumque donaveram nee postea aut 
epistulas eius aut aliquem de exitu nuntium accepi. 
Interceptusne sit a suis an cum suis, dubium ; certe 
non ipse, non quisquani ex servis eius a})paruit. 

Utinam ne in Robusto idem experiamur^ ! Tamen 

arcessamus Scaurum ; demus hoc tuis, demus oirtimi 

adulescentis honestissimis precibus, qui pietate mira, 

mira etiam sagacitate patrem quaerit. Di faveant, ut 

sic inveniat ipsum, quemadmodum iam, cum quo 

fuissetj invenit ! Vale. 

^ Utinam ne — experiamiir Bipons, appariiit ut ne Rob. 
qnidem. Exper. tamen, arcess. M Dp, K, Ut ne in Rob. 
quoque idem cxper, Tamen accers. K^. 




You inform nie that Robustus, a distinguished 
Roman kniglit, travelled along with my friend 
Attilius Scaurus as far as Ocriculum, but has never 
been heard of since. In compliance with your 
request, I shall send for Scaurus, in oi"der to see if 
he can give us any clue to tracing him out ; though 
I fear, indeed, it will be to no purpose. I suspect an 
accident of the same unaccountable kind has befallen 
Robustus, as foi'merly happened to my townsman 
Metilius Crispus. I procured a company for him in 
the army, and gave him when he set out 40,000 
sesterces for his equipage : but I never received any 
letter from him afterwards, or any tidings of his end. 
Whether he was murdered by his servants, or to- 
gether with them, is uncertain ; however, neither 
he nor they ever appeared more. 

I wish we may not find it thus with respect to 
Robustus ; nevei'theless I shall send for Scaurus. I 
caiuiot refuse this either to your request, or the verj' 
laudable entreaties of that most excellent youth his 
son, who discovers as much good sense in tlie 
method, as he does filial affection in the zeal of his 
inquiry. Heaven grant we may have the same 
success in finding his father, as he has had in 
discovering the person that accompanied him ' 




C. Pi.iNius Skuviano Suo S. 

Gaudeo et gratulor, quod Fusco Saliiiatori filiam 
tuam destinasti. Domus patricia, pater hones- 
tissimus, mater pari laude ; ipse studiosiis, litteratus, 
etiam disertus, puer simplicitate, comitate iuveiiis, 
senex gravitate ; neque enim amore decipior. Amo 
quidem effuse (ita ofRciis^ ita reverentia meruit), 
iudico tamen, et quidem tanto acrius, quanto magis 
amo, tibique, ut qui exploraverim, spondeo habiturum 
te generum, quo melior fingi ne voto quidem potuit. 
Superest, ut avum te quam maturissime similium sui 
faciat. Quam felix tempus illud, quo mihi liberos 
illius, nepotes tuos ut meos vel liberos vel nepotesex 
vestro sinu sumere et quasi pari iure tenere coutiu- 
get ! Vale. 


C. Plinius Severo Suo S. 

RoGAS, ut cogitem, quid designatus consul in 
honorem principis censeas. Facilis inventio, non 
facilis electio ; est enim ex virtutibus eius larga 

BOOK VI. xxvi.-xxvii 


To Servianus 

I AM extremely i-ejoiced to hear, tliat you have 
betrothed your daughter to Fulcus Salinator, and 
congratulate you u{)on it. His family is patrician, 
and both his father and mother are persons of the 
most exalted merit. As for himself, he is studious, 
learned, even eloquent, and with all the innocence ot 
a child, unites the sprightliness of youth to the 
wisdoAi of age. I am not, believe me, duped by my 
affection ; for though 1 do love him beyond measure 
(as his services and respect to me well deserve) I yet 
can judge him, and the more vigorously for loving 
him so well. Take my word for it (and I speak 
from thorough knowledge), you will have a son-in- 
law who is all your fancy can paint, or your heart 
desire. It only remains to wish that he may right 
speedily present you with grancT-sons who shall 
resemble their father. Happy the day when I shall 
receive from the arms of two such friends the 
children of one and grand-children of the other, 
even as if I were myself their father or grandsire, 
and hold them, as though by equal right, in my 
embrace ! Farewell. 


To Severus 

You desire me to consider what turn you should 
give to your speech in honour of the Emperor, upon 
your being appointed consul. It is easy to find, but 
not easy to select, topics of encomium, for this 



materia. Scribam tamen vel, quod malo^ coram 
indicabo^ si prius haesitationem meam ostendero. 

Diibito, mini idem tibi suadere quod mihi dcbeam. 
Designatus ego consul omni hac^ etsi iion adulatione, 
S{)ecie tamen adulationis abstinui non tamquam liber 
et constans, sed tamquam intelle^ens principis nostri^ 
cuius videbam banc esse praecipuam laudem, si 
nihil quasi ex necessitate decernerem. Recordabar 
etiam plurimos honores pessimo cuique delatos, a 
quibus hie optimus separari non alio magis poterat 
quam diversitate censendi ; quod ipsum dissimula- 
tione et silentio non praeterii, ne forte non indicium 
illud meunij sed oblivio videretur. 

Hoc tunc ego ; sed non omnibus eadem placenta 
ne ^ conveniunt quidem. Praeterea faciendi aliquid 
vel non faciendi vera ratio cum hominum ipsorum 
tum rerum etiam ac temporum condicione mutatur. 
Nam recentia opera maximi principis praebent 
facultatem nova, magna, vera censendi. Quibus ex 
causis, ut supra scripsi, dubito, an idem nunc tibi 
quod tunc mihi suadeam. Illud non dubito, debuisse 
me in parte consilii tui ponere, quod ipse fecissem. 

* ne Oeaner, K, nee codd. 

BOOK VI. xx^^i 

prince's virtues supply them in abundance. How- 
ever, I will write, or (what I prefer) indicate my 
views to you in person, only I must first lay my 
grounds of hesitating before you. 

I doubt whether I should advise you to do as I did 
on the same occasion.'* When I was consul elect, I 
refrained from all that customary panegyric which, 
though not adulation, might yet bear the semblance 
of it. Not that I affected an intrepid freedom ; but 
as well knowing the sentiments of our amiable prince, 
and that the highest praise I could offer to him 
would be to show the world I was under no 
necessity of paying him any. When I reflected 
what honours had been heaped upon the very worst 
of his predecessors, nothing, I imagined, could more 
distinguish a prince of his real virtues from those 
infamous Emperors, than to eulogise him in a 
different manner. And this point I did not omit or 
slur over in my speech, lest it might be suspected I 
passed over his glorious acts, not out of judgement, 
but forgetfulness. 

Such was the method I then observed ; but I am 
sensible the same measures are neither agreeable, 
nor indeed suitable to all alike. Besides, the pro- 
priety of doing or omitting a thing depends not only 
upon persons, but time and circumstances ; and as 
the late actions of our illustrious Prince afford 
materials for panegyric, no less just than recent and 
magnificent, I doubt (as I said before) whether I 
should persuade you to act in this case as I did 
myself. In this, however, I am clear, that it was 
proper to offer to your consideration the plan I 
pursued. Farewell. 

» See Bk. III. 13, 18, 




C. Plinius Pontic Allifano ^ Suo S. 

Scio, quae tibi causa fuerit impedimento, quo 
minus praecurrere adventum meum in Campaniaui 
posses. Sed, quaniquam absens^ totus hue migrasti ; 
tantum mihi copiarum qua urbanarum quarusticarum 
nomine tuo oblatum est, quas omnes improbe 
quidem, accepi tamen. Nam me ^ tui, ut ita facerem, 
rogabant, et verebar, ne et mihi et illis irascereris, si 
non fecissem. In posterum, nisi adhibueris ^ modum, 
ego adhibebo. Et iam tuis denuntiavi, si rursus tarn 
multa attulissent, omnia relaturos. Dices oportere 
me tuis rebus ut meis uti. Etiam ; sed perinde illis 
ac meis parco. Vale. 


C. Plinius Quadrato Suo S. 

AviDius Quietus, qui me unice dilexit et, quo 

non minus gaudeo, probavit, ut multa alia Thra- 

seae (fuit enim familiaris) ita hoc saepe referebat, 

praecipere solitum susci})iendas esse causas aut ami- 

corum aut destitutas aut ad exemplum pertinentes. 

* Allifano add. Miiller ut V. 14, VII. 4. 

' me Dpra, Bipons, Miiller, et M K. 

3 adhibueris Dpra, Bipons, Miiller, adhibueritis M, K. 


BOOK VI. xxviii.-xxix 


To Pontius Allifanus 

I AM not ignorant of the reason which prevented 
your coming into Campania to receive me. But 
absent as you were, might I have judged by the 
profusion of both town and country deUcacies which 
were offered me in your name, I should have 
imagined you liad conveyed yourself hither with 
your whole possessions. I must own I was so arrant 
a clown, as to take all that was offered me ; however 
it was in compliance with the solicitations of your 
people, and fearing you would chide both them and 
me if I refused. But for the future, if you will not 
observe some measure, / must. And I have warned 
your domestics, if ever they serve me up such lavish 
meals again, they will take them away untouched. 
You will tell me that I ought to use what is yours as 
if it were mine. I am sensible of that ; but I would 
be as sparing of your good things as I am of my own. 



AviDius Quietus, whose affection, and (what I 
equally value) whose esteem I enjoyed in un- 
common measure, used frequently to repeat this 
maxim, among others, of Thrasea's (whom he knew 
intimately) — " There are three sorts of causes which 
we ought to undertake ; those of our friends, those 
of the deserted, and those which tend to form a 


L L 2 


Cur amicorum, non eget interpretatione ; cur de- 
stitutas ? quod in illis maxiine et constantia agentis 
et humanitas cemeretur ; cur pertinentis ^ ad exem- 
plum ? quia plurimum referrct, bonum an malum 
induceretur. Ad liaec ego genera causarum ambitiose 
fortasse, addam tamen claras et illustres. Aequum 
enim est agere non numquam gloriae et famae, id est, 
suam, causam. 

Hos tenninos, quia me consuluisti, dignitati ac 
verecundiae tuae statuo. Nee me praeterit usum et 
esse et haberi optimum dicendi magistnim ; video 
etiam multos parvo ingenio, litteris nullis, ut bene 
agerent, agendo consecutos. Sed et illud, quod vel 
Pollionis vel tamquam Pollionis accepi, verissimum 
experior : ' Commode agendo factum est, ut saepe 
agerem, saepe agendo, ut minus commode ' ; quia 
scilicet adsiduitate niniia facilitas magis quam facultas 
nee fiducia, sed temeritas paratur. Nee vero Isocratij 
quo minus haberetur summus orator, offecit, quod 
infirmitate vocis, mollitia frontis, ne in publico diceret, 

Proinde multum lege, scribe, meditare, ut possis, 
cum voles, dicere ; dices, cum velle debebis. Hoc 
* pertinentis M D, Miiller, pertinentes vidg. 


BOOK VI. xxix 

precedent." The reason we should engage in the 
cause of our friends requires no explanation ; we 
should assist the deserted^ he said, because it shews 
a resolute and generous mind ; as we ought to rise in 
the cause where precedent is concerned, since it is of 
the last consequence v/hether a good or evil one be 
introduced. To which three sorts of pleas I will add 
(perhaps in the spirit of ambition, however, I will 
add) those of the splendid and illusti'ious kind. For 
it is reasonable sometimes to plead the cause of 
glory and fame, or in other words, one s own. 

These are the limits (since you ask my sentiments) 
I would prescribe to a person of your dignity and 
moderation. I do not forget that practice is generally 
esteemed, and in truth is, tli^'best teacher of 
eloquence. I have even seen many who with small 
genius and no erudition have made themselves good 
pleaders by merely pleading. Nevertheless, the 
observation of Pollio, or at least what passes for his, 
I have found by experience to be most true ; " A 
good address at the bar," said he, "brought me 
much practice ; and, on the other hand, much 
practice spoiled my address." The reason is, too 
constant application makes eloquence rather a trick 
than a talent, and gives a speaker not confidence but 
assurance. Accordingly we see that the bashfulness 
of Isocrates, which, together with the weakness of 
his voice, hindered his speaking in public, did not 
by any means obstruct his fame as a consummate 

Let me farther advise you, to read, write, and 
meditate much, that you may be able to speak 
whenever you are inclined ; you will only speak, I 
know, when your inclination coincides with duty. 1 


fere temperamentum ipse servavi ; non numquam 
neeessitati, quae pars rationis est, parui. Egi enim 
quasdam a senatu iussus, quo tamen in nuniero 
fuerunt ex ilia Thraseae divisionej hoc est, ad 
cxemplum pertinentes. 

Adfui Baeticis contra Baebium Massam. Quaesitum 
estj an danda esset inquisitio ; data est. Adfui rursus 
isdem querentibus de Caecilio Classico. Quaesitum 
est, an provinciales ut socios ministrosque proconsulis 
plecti oporteret ; poenas luerunt. Accusavi Marium 
Priscum, qui lege repetundarum damnatus utebatur 
dementia legis, cuius severitatem immanitate crimi- 
num excesserat ; relegatus est. Tuitus sum lulium 
Bassum ut incustoditum nimis et incautum ita minime 
malum ; iudicibus acceptis in senatu remansit. Dixi 
proxime pro Vareno postulante, ut sibi invicem 
evocare testes liceret ; impetratum est. In posterum 
opto ut ea potissimum iubear, quae me deceat vel 
sponte fecisse. Vale. 


BOOK VI. xxix 

myself have generally observed the latter rule ; 
though I have at times yielded to necessity (which, 
however, is the same thing as obeyuig reason). 
For I have occasionally pleaded causes by order 
of the senate ; but some of these came under 
one of Thrasea's classes, that is, they tended to set 
up a precedent. 

I appeared for the provincials of Baetica against 
Baebius Massa * on the motion for bringing him to 
trial ; the motion was carried. I pleaded for them 
a second time when they impeached Caecilius 
Classicus * on the question, whether the subordinate 
officers of a consul should be punished as his agents 
and accomplices ; penalties were inflicted on the 
officers of Classicus. I was prosecuting counsel in 
the case of Marius Priscus," who having been 
convicted under the law against extortion, sought 
to profit by the lenity of that statute, which provided 
no adequate penalty for his enormous guilt : but he 
v/as sentenced to banishment. I defended Julius 
Bassus '^ on the ground that he had acted indiscreetly 
and imprudently, but not in the least with any ill 
intention : the case was referred to commissioners, 
and he was permitted to retain his seat in the 
senate. I pleaded the other day on behalf of 
Varenus,* who petitioned for leave to examine 
witnesses on liTs part ; which was granted him. As 
to the future, I wish I may have such causes 
enjoined me by authority, as it would become me to 
undertake even voluntarily. Farewell. 

» vii. 3.3. » iii. 4, 9. • ii. 11. 

<* iv. 9. « V. 20. 




C. Pi.iNius Fauato Prosocero Suo S. 

Dkdemus mehercule natales tuos perinde ac nostros 
celebrare, cum laetitia nostrorum ex tuis pendeat, 
cuius diligentia et cura hie hilares, istic securi sumus. 

Villa Camilliana^ quam in Campania possideSj est 
quidem vetustate vexata ; ea tamen,^ quae sunt 
pretiosiora, aut Integra manent aut levissime laesa 
sunt. Attendimus - ergo, ut quam salubeirime 

Ego videor habere multos amicos, sed huius generis, 
cuius et tu quaeris et res exigit, prope neminem. 
Sunt enim omnes togati et urbani ; rusticorum autem 
praediorum administratio poscit durum aliquem et 
agrestem, cui nee labor ille gravis nee cura sordida 
nee tristis solitudo videatur. Tu de Rufo honestissime 
cogitas ; fuit enim filio tuo familiaris. Quid tamen 
nobis ibi praestai^e possit_, ignoro, velle plurimum, seio. 


C. Plinius Corneliano Suo S 

EvocATus in consilium a Caesare nostro ad Centum 

Cellas (hoc loco nomen) maximam^ cepi voluptatem. 

^ ea tamen a, K, et tamen Dpr, tamen M. 

■' attendimus M(l)a, Bip., attendemus Dpr , K, 
* maximam Dpr, Miiller, magnam Ma, K. 


BOOK VI. xxx.-xxxi 


To Fabatus, his Wife's Grandfather 

I OUGHT, most certainly, to celebrate your birth-day 
as my own, since all the happiness of mine arises 
from yours, to whose care and diligence it is owing 
that I am cheerful in town and easy in the country. 

Your Camillian villa j*' in Campania has indeed 
suffered by the injuries of time ; however, the most 
valuable parts of the building either remain entire, 
or are but slightly damaged, so I am seeing to their 
being thoroughly repaired. 

I flatter myself I have many friends, yet scarce 
any, I doubt, of the sort you inquire after, and 
which the affair you mention demands. All mine 
are complete men about town ; whereas to manage 
a country estate requires a person of a I'ough cast 
and rustic breeding, who will not look upon the work 
as heavy, the office as mean, or the solitude as 
melancholy. Your thinking of Rufus does you 
honour, since he was your son's bosom-friend ; 
but how he can serve us yonder, I know not ; 
though I know he has all the will in the world to do 
so. Farewell. 


To Cornelianus 

I RECEIVED lately the mostfexquisite entertainment 
imaginable at Centumcellae ^ (as it is called), whither 
our Emperor had summoned me to his privy council. 

" So called, because it formerly belonged to Camillus. 
* Now Civita Vecchia. 



Quid enim iucundius quam principis iustitiam, gravi- 
tatem, comitatem in secessu quoque, ubi maxime 
recluduntur, inspicere ? Fueriint variae cognitiones, 
et quae virtutes iudicis per plures species experirentur. 
Dixit causam Claudius AristoUj^ px'inceps Ephesiorum, 
homo munificus, et innoxie popularis. Inde invidia 
et ab dissiniillimis delator immissus. Itaque absolutus 
vindicatusque est. 

Sequenti die audita est Gallitta^adulterii rea. Nupta 
haec tribuuo militum honores petituro et suam et 
mariti dignitatem centurionis amore maculaverat. 
Maritus legato consulari, ille Caesari scrij)S(prat. 
Caesar excussis probationibus centurionem exaucto- 
ravit atque etiam relegavit. Supererat crimini, quod 
nisi duorum esse non poterat, reliqua pars ultionis ; 
sed maritum non sine aliqua reprehensione patientiae 
amor uxoris retardabat^ quam quidem etiam post 
delatum adulterium domi habuerat quasi contentus 
aemulum removisse. AdmonituSj ut perageret accusa- 
tionem, peregit invitus ; sed illam damnari etiam 
invito accusatore necesse erat : damnata et luliae 
legis poenis relicta est. Caesar et nomen centmionis 
et commemorationem disciplinae militaris sententiae 

^ Ariston Dra, Bip., M'dller, Aristion Mp, K. ab a, 
Bip., Midler, a r, K, om. M. 
^ Gallitta Momms., Galitta vuln. 

/-- '. i 

" i.e. (1) forfeiture of halt her dower and one-third of her 
property, (2) banishment to an island, 

' 522 '^ 

BOOK VI. xxxi 

Could anything indeed afford a higher pleasure 
than to see the sovereign exercising his justice^ his 
wisdom, and his aftkbilityj and that in retirement, 
where they are laid most open to view ? Various were 
the cases brought before him, whicli showed under 
several aspects the virtues of the judge. That of 
Claudius Ariston came on first. He is an Epliesian 
nobleman, of great munificence and unambitious 
popularity; having thus aroused the envy of persons 
his oj)posites in character, they had spirited up an 
informer against him ; such being the facts, he was 
honourably acquitted. 

The next day, Gallitta was tried on the charge of 
adultery. Her husband, a military tribune, was 
upon the point of standing for office, when she 
disgraced both him and herself by an intrigue with a 
centurion. The husband had written of this to the 
consul's legate, and he to the Emperor. Caesar, 
having well sifted the evidence, not only broke 
but banished the centurion. Still, justice was~but 
half satisfied, for the crime is one in which two 
pai-ties must necessarily be involved. But the hus- 
band drew back out of fondness for his wife, and 
was a good deal censured for complaisance ; for 
even after her crime was detected he had kept 
her under liis roof, content, it should seem, with 
having removed his rival. He Avas admonished 
to proceed in the suit, which he did with great 
reluctance : it was necessary, however, she should 
be condemned, even against the prosecutoi*'s will. 
Condemned she was, and given up to the punish- 
ment directed by the Julian law.^^. The EmjDeror 
thought proper to specify, in his judgement, the 
name of the centurion, and to dwell upon the 



adiecit^ ne omnes eiusmodi causas revocare ad se 

Tertio die inducta cognitio est multis sermonibiis 
et vario rumore iactata lulii Tironis codicilli, quos 
ex parte veros esse constabat, ex parte falsi dicebantur. 
Substituebantur crimini Sempronius Senecio, eques 
Roraanus, et Eurythmus, Caesaris libertus et pro- 
curator. Heredes, cum Caesar esset in Dacia, 
communiter ej)istula scripta petierant, ut susciperet 
cognitionem ; susceperat. Reversus diem dederat et 
cum ex heredibus quidam quasi reverentia Eurythmi 
omitterent accusationem^ j)ulcherrime dixerat, ' Nee 
ille Poljclitus est nee ego Nero.' Indulserat tamen 
petentibus dilationem cuius tempore exacto con- 
sederat auditurus. A parte heredum intraverurit duo 
omnino : postularunt, ut aut ^ omnes lieredes agere 
cogerentur, cum detulissent omnes, aut sibi quoque 
desistere permitteretur. 

Locutus est Caesar summa gravitate, summa mode- 
ratione, cumque advocatus Senecionis et Eurythmi 
dixisset suspicionibus relinqui reos, nisi audirentur : 
' Non euro/ inquit, 'an isti suspicionibus relin- 
quantur, ego relinquor.' Dein conversus ad nos : 
' 'ETTio-TT^craTt quid facei-e debeamus; isti enim queri 
voTunt,2 quod sibi non licuerit accusare.^ ' Turn ex 
consilii sententia iussit denuntiari heredibus omnibus, 

^ ut aut Mailer, ut Dpa, om. M, aut K. 

2 queri volunt Dpra, Bipons, K^, quaeri volunt M, quaeri 
nolunt K. 

^ quod sibi non licuerit ace. Miiller, quod sibi lie. non ace. 
codd., vulg., qu. sibi non lie. non ace. Gesner, quod illis lie. 
non ace. Kukula. 


BOOK VI. xxxi 

claims of military discipline ; lest it should be sup- 
posed that he intended to try all similar causes 

The third day an inquiry was begun concerning the 
much-discussed will of Julius Tiro, part of which was 
plainly genuine, the other part, it was said, was forged. 
The persons brought under the charge were Sem- 
pronius Senecio, a Roman knight, and Eurythmus, 
Caesar's freedman and procurator. The heirs had 
written a joint letter to the Emperor when he was in 
Dacia, petitioning him to reserve the case for his own 
hearing. He did so, and upon his return appointed 
a day for the hearing ; and when some of the heirs, 
as if from respect to Eurj'thmus, would have with- 
drawn the suit, he nobly said, "He is not Polyclitus,** 
nor am I Nero." However, he complied with their 
request for an adjournment, and the time being 
expired, he now sat to hear the cause. Two only of 
the heirs appeared ; they requested that either all 
the heirs might be compelled to prosecute, as all 
had joined in the information, or that they also 
might have leave to desist. 

Caesar spoke with great dignity and moderation ; 
and when the counsel for Senecio and Eurythmus 
said, that unless the defendants were heard, they 
would remain under suspicion, "I do not care," said 
the Emperor, "whether suspicion rests upon your 
clients ; it rests upon myself." Then, turning to us, 
" Advise me," said he, " what is my proper course, 
for you see they want to complain that they have 
not been allowed to prosecute." Then, by advice of 
the council, he ordered notice to be given to the 
heirs collectively, that they should either go on with 
• A favourite freedman of Nero. 


aut agcront aut singuli approbarent causas non 
agendi ; alioqui se vel de calumpia pronuntiaturum. 

Vides, quam honesti, quam severi dies ; quos 
iucundissiinae remissiones scquebantur. Adhibe- 
bainiir cotidie cenae : erat modica, si principem 
cogitares. Inteidum aKpodnara audicbamus, interdum 
iucundissimissermonibusnoxducebatur. Summo die 
abeuntibus nobis (tam diligens in Caesare liumanitas) 
xenia sunt missa. Sed mihi ut gravitas cognitionum, 
consilii honor, suavitas siuiplicitasque convictus ita 
locus ipse periucundus fuit. 

Villa pulcherrima cingitur viridissimis agris,imminet 
litori ; cuius in sinu fit cum maxima portus. Huius 
sinistrum brachium finnissimo opere munitum est ; 
dextrum elabovatur. In ore portus insula adsurgit, 
quae illatum vento mare obiacens frangat tutumqne 
ab utroque latere decursum navibus praestet, adsurgit 
autem arte visenda ; ingentia saxa latissima navis 
provehit; contra, haec alia super alia deiecta ipso 
pondere manent ac sensim quodam velut aggere 
construuntur. Emiiiet iam et apparet saxeum dorsum 
impactosque fluctus in immensum elidit et tollit. 
Vastus illic fragor canumque circa mare. Saxis 
deinde pilae adicientur, quae procedente tempore 

" calumnia was the legal terra for bringing a false or 
malicious charge against a person, 


BOOK VI. xxxi 

the suit, or severally show cause for not doing 
so ; otherwise that he would at least pi'onounce 
them guilty of calumny.'* 

Thus you see how honourably and seriously we 
spent our days, which however were followed by the 
most agreeable recreations. We were every day 
invited to Caesar's supper, which, for a prince, was a 
modest repast ; there we were either entertained 
with interludes, or passed the night in the most 
pleasing conversation. On the last day he sent each 
of us presents at our departure, so unremitting is 
the benevolence of Caesar ! As for myself, I was 
not only charmed with the dignity of the proceedings, 
the honour paid to the assessors, the ease and 
unreserved freedom of the conversation, but with 
the place itself 

Here is a villa, surrounded by the most verdant 
meadows, and overhanging a bay of the coast where 
they are at this moment constructing a harbour. The 
left-hand mole of this port is protected by iinmensely 
solid masonry; the right is now being completed. 
An island is rising in the mouth of the harbour, 
which -will break the force of the waves when the 
wind blows shorewards, and afford passage to ships 
on either side. Its construction is highly worth 
seeing ; huge stones are transported hither in a 
broad-bottomed vessel, and being sunk one upon the 
other, are fixed by their own weight, gradually 
accumulating in the manner, as it were, of a rampart. 
It already lifts its rocky back above the ocean, while 
the waves which beat upon it, being tossed to an 
immense height, roar prodigiously, and whiten all 
the sea round. To these stones are added wooden 
piles, which in time will give it the appearance of a 



enatam insulam imitentur. Habebit hie portus et 
iam habet nomen auctoris eritque vel maxime 
salutaris. Nam per longissimum spatium litus impor- 
tuosum hoc receptaculo utetur. V^ale. 



QuAMVis et ipse sis eontinentissimus et fiHam tuam 
ita institueris, ut decebat fiHam tuam, Tutili neptem, 
cum tamen sit nuptura honestissimo viro, Nonio 
Celeri, cui ratio civiHum officiorum neeessitatem 
quandam nitoris imponitj debet secundum condi- 
cionem mariti veste, comitatu (quibus non quidem 
augetur dignitas, ornatur tamen) instrui. Te porro 
animo beatissimum, modicum facultatibus seio. Itaque 
partem oneris tui mihi vindico et tamquam parens 
alter puellae nostrae confero quinquaginta milia 
nummum plus collaturus, nisi a verecundia tua sola 
mediocritate munusculi impetrari posse confiderem^ 
ne recusares. Vale. 

C. Plinius Romano Suo S. 

* ToLi.iTE cuncta, inquit, coeptosque auferte 

Seu scribis aliquid seu legis, tolli, auferri iube et 
accipe orationem meam ut ilia arma divinam (num 

"» The speech of Vulcan to the Cyclopes, when he directs 
them to prepare arms for Aeneas, Aeneid, viii. 439. 


BOOK VI. xxxi.-xxxiii 

natural island. This port will be, and already is, 
named after its great author, and will prove of 
infinite benefit, by affording a haven to ships on a 
long stretch of harbourless coast. Farewell. 



Though your own tastes are of the simplest, and 
you have brought up your daughter as befits a child of 
vours and a grand-child of Tutilius ; yet as she is about 
to marry so distinguished a person as Nonius Celer, 
whose official station requires a certain display, she 
must be provided with cloaths and attendance 
(things which embellish worth, though they do not 
augment it) suitable to her husband's rank. Now, 
as I am sensible your material wealth is not equal to 
the riches of your mind, I claim to myself a part of 
your expense, and like another father, endow our 
young lady with fifty thousand sesterces. My con- 
tribution should be larger, but that I am well 
persuaded the smallness of the gift is the only 
inducement that can prevail with your modesty not 
to refuse it. Farewell. 



" ' Hence with the rest,' quoth he, ' and throw aside 

Your tasks begun — ' " ^ 

Whether you are engaged in reading or writing, 
cry "Hence" and "Away" to your book or papei's, 
and take up my oration, which, like those arms in 
the poem, is divine. Nothing, I think, could outdo 




superbius potui ? ) re vera, ut inter nieas pulchrani ; 
nam mihi satis est certare mecum. 

Est haec pro Attia Variola et digiiitate personae 
et exempli raritate et iudicii magnitudine insignis. 
Nam feniina splendide nata, nupta praetorio viro, 
exlieredata ab octogenario patre intra undecim dies, 
quam ille novercam ei ^ amore captus induxerat, quad- 
ruplici iudicio bona paterna repetebat. Scdebant 
indices centum et octoginta (tot enim quatuor con- 
siliis colliguntur),- ingens utrimque advocatio et 
numerosa subsellia, praetcrea densa circumstantium 
corona latissimum indicium multiplici circulo ambi- 
bat. Ad hoc stipatum tribunal, atque etiam ex 
superiore basilicae parte qua feminae qua viri et audi- 
endi, quod difficile, et, quod facile, visendi studio im- 
minebant. Magna exspectatio patrum, magna fili- 
arum, magna etiam novercarum. Secutus est varius 
everitus. Nam duobus consiliis vicimus, totidem 
victi sumus. Notabilis prorsus res et mira eadem in 
causa, isdem iudicibus, isdem advocatis, eodem 
tempore tanta diversitas accidit, casu, quod non casus 
videretur. Victa est noverca ipsa lieres ex parte 
sexta, victus Suberinus, qui exheredatus a patre 
singulari impudentia alieni patris bona vindicabat non 
ausus sui petere. 

^ ille novercam ei Dpra, Midler, ille novercam, M, K. 
^ coUiguntur Mr, Bipons, K, conscribuntur Dp, Calan., 

<• See p. 10, note. 

* Presumably the son, by a former marriage, of Aceia's 
step- mother. 

BOOK VI. xxxiii 

the arrogance of this remark ! But in good earnest, 
take this speech into your hands as one of my best ; 
for I am content to vie only with myself. 

'Tis my plea on behalf of Accia Variola^ notewortliy 
from the high rank of the person concerned, the 
rarity of such a case in litigation^ and the amplitude 
of the tribunal. For here was a high-born lady, 
wife to a man of Praetorian rank, suing for her 
patrimony in the Centumviral Court ** ; having been 
disinherited by a father aged eighty, within eleven 
days after the enamoured ancient liad brought home 
a step-mother to his daughter. The Court was 
composed of one hundred and eighty jurors (for 
that is the number of which its four panels consist) ; 
a host of advocates appeared on both sides ; the 
benches were infinitely thronged, and the spacious 
court was encompassed by a circle of people standing 
several rows deep. In addition, the tribunal was 
crowded, and the very galleries lined with men and 
women, hanging over in their eagerness to hear 
(which was difficult) and see (which was easy). 
Fathers, daughters, and step-mothers too, anxiously 
awaited the verdicts. These were diveri>ent, two of 
the panels being for us, and two against us. ' , It is 
something remarkable and strange, that the same 
cause debated before the same jury, and pleaded by 
the same advocates, and at the same time, sliould 
meet with such contrary judgements— ^by an accident, 
which seemed not accidental. Tlie stej)-mother, 
who took under tlie will a sixth part of the 
inlieritance, lost her cause. So did Subei-inus,?* -ivho 
though he was disinherited by his father without 
daring to sue for his own patrimony, had yet the 
singular effrontery to claim that of another. 


M M 2 


Haec tibi exposui, primum ut ex epistula scires 
quae ex oratione non poteras, deinde (nam detegam 
artes) ut orationem libentius legeres, si non legere 
tibi, sed interesse iudicio videreris ; quam, sit licet 
magna, non despero gratiam brevissimae impe- 
traturam. Nam et copia rerum et arguta divisione 
et narratiunculis pluribus et eloquendi varietate 
renovatur. Sunt multa (non auderem nisi tibi dicere) 
elata, multa pugnacia, multa subtilia. Intervenit 
enim acribus illis et erectis frequens necessitas com- 
putandi ac paene calculos tabulamque poscendi, ut 
repente in privati iudicii foi-mam centumvirale ver- 
tatur. Dedimus vela indignationi, dedimus irae, 
dedimus dolori et in amplissima causa quasi magno 
mari pluribus ventis sumus vecti. 

In summa solent quidam ex contubernalibus nos- 
tris existimare banc orationem (iterum dicam) ut 
inter meas ws virep Ktt/o-k^oJvtos esse ; an_verg»,J.u 
facillime iudicabis, qui tarn memoriter tenes omnes, 
ut conferre cum liac, dum banc solam legis, possis. 

" An oration of Demosthenes in defence of Ctesiphon, 
esteemed the best of that noble orator's speeches. . . . 
Sidonius Apollinaris says that Pliny acquired more honour 
by this speech than even by his incomparable panegyric 
upon Trajan. (Melni.) 


BOOK VI. xxxiii 

I have given you these details^ firstly that you 
might learn from my letter wliat you could not from 
my speech ; secondly (for I will lay bare the artifice) 
that you might read my speech more willingly by 
fancying yourself not a reader, but a spectator of 
the trial. Long it may be, but I do not despair of 
its gaining the same favour with you as the briefest 
possible oration. For abundance of mattei", skilful 
division of topics, a profusion of anecdote and variety 
of style combine to give it freshness. I will even 
venture to say to you (what 1 durst not to any one 
else) that a spirit of great fire and sublimity breaks 
out in many parts of it, at the same time that in 
others it is wi-ought up with much delicacy and 
closeness of reasoning. I was frequently obliged to 
intermix dry computations v.ith these elevated and 
vigorous passages, and to descend from the orator 
almost to the accountant ;/so that you will sometimes 

"iniaglne^tHe scene'was cnanged from the solemnity 
of the centumviral tribunal, to that of a private and 
inferior one. I ^aye^ a loose to indignation, resent- 
ment, and sorrowT^iiiB steering through the broad 
sea of this illustrious cause, was governed by turns 
with every varying gust of the passions. 

In a word, some of our circle look upon this 
speech (and I will venture to repeat it again) as the 
Cte.iiphon '^of my orations; whj?thex- with i"eason or 
not, you will easily judge, who have them all so 

~^efTectly in your memory, as to be able while you 
are reading this to compare it with the rest, without 
referring to them. Farewell. 




C. Plinius Maximo Suo S. 

Recte fecistij quod gladiatorium ^ iminus Veronen- 
sibus nostris promisisti, a quibus olim amariSj sus- 
piceris, ornaris. Indc etiam uxorem carissimam tibi 
et probatissimam habuisti, cuius memoriae aut opus 
aliquod aut spectaculum atque hoc potissimum quod 
maxime funeri debebatur. Praeterea tanto consensu 
rogabaris, ut negare non constanSj sed durum videre- 
tur. Illud quoque egregie, quod tarn facilis, tarn 
liberalis in edendo fuisti. Nam per haec etiam 
magnus animus ostenditur. Vellem Africanae, quas 
coemeras plurimas^ ad praefinitum diem occurrissent. 
Sedj licet cessaverint illae tempestate detentae, tu 
tamen meruisti, ut acceptum tibi fieret, quod quo 
minus exhiberes^ non per te stetit. Vale. 

1 gladiatorium Dpr, Billons, gladiatoriim J/ a, K, 


BOOK VI. xxxiv 


To Maximus 

You did extremely right to promise a combat of 
gladiators to our good friends the citizens of Verona, 
not only since you have long enjoyed from them 
regard, veneration, and marks of honour, but as it 
was from thence also you received your most tenderly 
beloved and excellent wife. And since you owed 
some monument or public show to her memory, 
what other spectacle could you have exhibited more 
proper to a funereal occasion ? Besides, you were so 
unanimously pressed to do so, that to have refused 
would have had the appearance rather of obstinacy 
than resolution. The readiness with which you 
granted this request, and the magnificent manner in 
which you performed it, is also much to your honour ; 
for a greatness of soul is seen in these smaller 
instances, as well as in matters of higher moment. 
I am sorry the Afi:ican Panthers, which you had 
largely purchased for this occasion, did not arrive 
time enough ; but though they were delayed by the 
tempestuous season, the obligation to you is equally 
the same, since it was not your fault that they were 
not exhibited. Farewell. 


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The caprice of time has left us singularly ignorant of 
the life of Rome in Trajan's era. We have, indeed, 
to help us in the study of that restoration epoch, 
a few imposing monuments, a few coins and inscrip- 
tions, two or three dull historical epitomes of late 
date, but all else has vanished except the works of a 
handful of contemporary writers whose primary pur- 
pose was to image for us something else than the 
history of their own day. Yet the selection of Trajan 
as colleague by the amiable but aged and ailing Nerva 
made Eome breathe deeply with the joyful relief of 
assured freedom. And Trajan, with all his share of 
human foibles and faults, evidently justified the con- 
fidence Rome felt in him from his earlier career. He 
redeemed her arms from the shame of Domitian's 
reign, and enlarged her boundaries by brilliant 
campaigns and wise diplomacy to an extent never 
surpassed. He reformed abuses in the provinces 
and checked the rapacity of governors. At home he 
set on foot great organized benevolences, fostered 
trade and industry, constructed immense works of 
public beauty and utility, and restored freedom of 
speech and thought and life. Rome had reason to 


feel that now for the first time monarchy and liberty 
were proved to be not inconsistent terms. The reign 
of Trajan was the dawn of new life for the capital. 
He made the winter of her discontent a glorious 

It is the task of the historian to point out why of 
this glorious summer we have so faint a picture. 
We know the period must have been a most busy 
one, and there are many sides to its life that arouse 
our interest. But in whatever direction curiosity 
leads us we sooner or later come to an impassable and 
impenetrable veil that time has stretched across the 
pathway. What was the character of Trajan's daily 
life in Rome 1 What the details of those campaigns 
on Rhine and Danube, in Dacia and the East 1 Even 
the chronological outlines are shrouded in doubt. 
More interesting and more important than these are 
the questions that concern the life not of the 
favoured few, but of that great mass of the middle 
and lower classes of society, so-called, whose modes of 
thought and action, whose aspirations and point 
of view, whose underlying convictions and beliefs, 
whose pleasures and pains alone can help us to 
understand society in its true and technical sense, 
and to recompose for ourselves the picture that Pliny 
had before him every day, — and did not care to look 
at. But we are left again in doubt and ignorance, 
for the lines of satirist and epigrammatist are no 
surer guide to a knowledge of the people of that day 
than the pages of the penny-dreadful novel or of the 
' yellow ' newspaper to the life of the present age. 

xA Plinius Caecilius ^ecundus, C 
6638 Letters 


cop. 6